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Adams County deputy was shot in abdomen, saved by ballistic vest

Danny Martinez made his first court appearance Friday after spending time in the hospital for treatment of injuries, including a bite from a police dog.

ADAMS COUNTY, Colo. — The Adams County Sheriff's deputy who was shot early Monday morning was struck once in the abdomen but didn't suffer any internal injuries due to the ballistic vest that he was wearing at the time, according to the arrest affidavit in the case.

Danny Martinez, who's accused of shooting the deputy, made his first court appearance Friday morning. He was arrested on multiple charges including attempted first-degree murder.

According to the affidavit from the Adams County Sheriff's Office (ACSO), around 11:10 p.m. Sunday, a deputy spotted a Honda CRV at a red light on Riverdale Road and noted that the driver's side window was tinted.

The deputy knew that was a common tactic used by car thieves to help conceal their identity and turned around to get behind the vehicle so he could run its license plate. When he did, the plate came back as belonging to a Toyota Corolla, which was another indication that the vehicle was likely stolen.

He turned on his lights and sirens and initiated a traffic stop near East 88th Avenue and Monroe Street. The driver, later identified as Martinez, pulled over on Monroe Street but drove away as the deputy approached, the arrest affidavit says.

The deputy pursued Martinez but backed off when they approached a construction zone. The deputy saw Martinez drive through construction cones to get around traffic and enter a neighborhood, the affidavit says.

Eventually, the deputy began pursuing Martinez again at Coronado Parkway South. Other deputies deployed stop sticks, which Martinez ran over. As a result, the affidavit says, both tires on the driver's side of the vehicle deflated. The deputy later saw the rear tire come off of the vehicle and noted sparks coming from the vehicle as Martinez continued to drive. 

RELATED: Deputy shot after pursuit in Adams County, suspect in custody

Another deputy stationed near U.S. 36 and Federal Boulevard was listening to radio traffic about the pursuit and realized he was about 10 blocks south of where Martinez was driving.  A short time later, that deputy spotted the vehicle and then witnessed a head-on crash near the 7400 block of North Federal Boulevard.

As that deputy approached the crash scene, he saw Martinez exit the CRV and run toward a gas station and chased him.

According to the affidavit, the deputy gave "police commands" as he approached the station. As he neared the southeast corner of the station, the affidavit says, he was "confronted by gunfire" from a dimly lit area. He reported seeing a muzzle flash and hearing two gunshots and reported that he "knew" he had been struck in the abdomen and took cover. He did not fire his weapon, according to the sheriff's office.

As that deputy was being checked out, other deputies continued their search for Martinez with assistance from K9 Utah. The police dog detected a presence of "human odor" in a neighborhood near the gas station, near a set of three trash cans.

RELATED: Brighton officer hurt after falling from vehicle while trying to make an arrest

The dog was especially interested in a trash can that was lying down, and his handler opened the lid and found Martinez inside. According to the affidavit, Martinez refused to cooperate, and "physical force" was used to arrest him. The force included "several hard empty hand strikes" and a bite from K9 Utah.

Credit: Adams County Sheriff's Office
Danny Martinez

Martinez was taken to the hospital for treatment of a facial injury from K9 Utah. When evaluated further, it was determined he also had lacerations to his left ear and a broken ankle.

The firearm believed to be used in the shooting was later recovered near a concrete wall between the parking lot and the neighborhood where Martinez was eventually located. It had been reported stolen out of Aurora, the affidavit says.

Following his arrest, Martinez was searched and deputies found a bag of methamphetamine that weighed more than 52 grams, according to the affidavit.

Martinez was arrested on suspicion of:

  • Attempted first-degree murder
  • First-degree assault
  • Aggravated motor vehicle theft
  • Resisting arrest
  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon
  • Possession of a controlled substance

He's due in court again on Aug. 22 when formal charges are expected.

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