ARVADA, Colo — A man was sentenced to 32 years in prison for shooting an off-duty Denver police officer during a robbery, the First Judicial District Attorney's Office said on Wednesday.
In April, 45-year-old Samuel Clinton McConnell was convicted of the following charges by a jury for the December 2019 incident:
- Aggravated robbery - intent to kill/maim/wound if resisted
- Assault - seriously bodily injury with a dangerous weapon
- Tampering with physical evidence
- Child abuse
- Reckless endangerment
- Reckless driving
- Leaving the scene of an accident involving injury
McConnell was acquitted of attempted first-degree murder and first-degree assault.
> Video above from Dec. 2019: Suspect in Arvada robbery had 2-year-old daughter in vehicle during shootout with detective.
Prosecutors said on the morning of Dec. 18, 2019, McConnell walked into the Circle K at the corner of Kipling Street and West 80th Avenue armed with a gun and wearing a mask, and demanded money from the store clerk.
Meanwhile, the release said, an off-duty officer was outside with his son getting gas when another customer told him about the robbery.
Prosecutors said the officer immediately drew his weapon and attempted to intervene, approaching the store door as McConnell left. Surveillance footage showed that McConnell was told repeatedly to stop, according to the release.
The officer testified that he was quickly “looking down the barrel of a gun”, the release said, and he fired his weapon. Shots were exchanged in a matter of seconds, the release said, and the officer was shot in both arms. One of the officer's shots hit the windshield of McConnell’s vehicle, the release said.
The release said McConnell sped away, colliding with another vehicle on West 80th Avenue before continuing northbound on Kipling Parkway. Tips from the public helped police find McConnell that evening, the release said.
Prosecutors said during the trial, McConnell testified that he shot at the officer in an attempt to get him to stop shooting.
The release said McConnell left the store with a little over $200 in cash and admitted that his two-year-old daughter was in the car during the entire incident.
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