A Colorado Springs police officer hospitalized after a shootout last week is “taking some breaths on his own” but remains in critical condition, police spokesman Lt. Howard Black said Thursday.

“Cem (Duzel) had a difficult afternoon yesterday with fairly intense medical interventions,” he said.

“(But) he’s taking some breaths on his own, which is a nice step forward.”

Black would not elaborate on Wednesday’s medical interventions.

Duzel and other officers were responding to reports of shots fired east of the Olympic Training Center shortly after 2:45 a.m. Aug. 2 when they encountered Karrar Al Khammasi in the 2300 block of East Boulder Street, according to the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, which is investigating the shooting.

Al Khammasi allegedly pulled out a handgun and exchanged fire with Duzel. Al Khammasi, 31, also was shot and was hospitalized for several days.

A county judge Thursday set Al Khammasi’s bond at $1 million and ordered that he appear in District Court on Aug. 16, at which time charges are expected to be filed.

He is being held on suspicion of attempted murder of a peace officer, menacing and weapon possession by a previous offender.

Twitter: @lizmforster Phone: 636-0193

Twitter: @lizmforster

Phone: 636-0193

Liz Forster is a general assignment reporter with a focus on environment and public safety. She is a Colorado College graduate, avid hiker and skier, and sweet potato enthusiast. Liz joined The Gazette in June 2017.


I cover legal affairs for The Gazette, with an emphasis on the criminal courts. Tips to lance.benzel@gazette.com

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