Police lights flashed with lightning, and sirens wailed as thunder rumbled. While no tears were visibly shed by officers located at Memorial Hospital, the rain falling more than set the mood. 

Andrew Peery, a decorated SWAT operator and deputy at the El Paso County Sheriff's Office, was killed Sunday evening while responding to a shooting in Security-Widefield.

Peery was one of several officers called to respond to the shooting, which happened in the 500 block of Ponderosa Drive.

"Two of our deputies, alongside a Fountain police officer arrived on scene almost simultaneously," Sheriff Bill Elder said at a press conference Sunday night. "As soon as they arrived, they were immediately met with gunfire."

The shooting caused a shelter in place near Widefield High School just before 6 p.m.

Despite life-saving efforts rendered by deputies that arrived on scene, Deputy Peery was killed in the gunfire. He is survived by his wife and two children.

"Andrew was a highly decorated SWAT operator for the El Paso County Sheriff's Office," Elder said.

Peery was with the sheriff's office since 2016, Elder said.

A procession took place just before 9 p.m. from UCHealth Memorial Hospital Central to Nevada Avenue, then to the sheriff's office on Vermijo Avenue. The sheriff's office asked residents to line up on the street and hold up flags for the fallen deputy's family. 

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A portion of the flag draping the casket of El Paso County Dep. Andrew Peery can be seen through the rear window of the hearse during a procession for the deputy. The procession started at Memorial Hospital and went past the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday, Aug. 7, 2022. (Photo by Jerilee Bennett, The Gazette)

“My thoughts and condolences are with the family and friends of Deputy Peery and all our neighbors in law enforcement who put their lives at risk to serve others,” Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said.

Authorities were looking for John Paz in connection to the shooting. Gazette news partner KKTV reported early Monday morning that Paz was found dead, although authorities had not said how he died.

Those who may have known of Paz's whereabouts were asked to call 911 or the Sheriff's Office dispatch center at 390-5555.

The Colorado Springs Police Department became the lead investigative agency for the shooting. It declared the scene secure just after 10:30 p.m. and said there was no further threat to the public.   

This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.

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