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Clear Creek County deputies shoot armed man who led them on chase in burning car, sheriff's office says

The officer-involved shooting started as a traffic stop in Idaho Springs, according to the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office.

CLEAR CREEK COUNTY, Colo. — A man was killed in an officer-involved shooting Saturday night after he fled from a traffic stop, led deputies on a chase up a mountain highway and set fire to his own vehicle, according to the Clear Creek Sheriff's Office.

The incident started at 9:55 p.m. Saturday in Idaho Springs, when an officer tried to conduct a traffic stop on the suspect's vehicle, said Bruce Snelling, undersheriff of the Clear Creek County Sheriff's Office.

It's unclear why the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, which was a silver Saturn sedan.

The driver fled, and officers pursued briefly before calling it off. Clear Creek Sheriff's Office deputies spotted the vehicle about 10 minutes later and pursued the driver south on Colorado 103, Snelling said.

During the pursuit, the suspect set fire to items in the back seat of his vehicle and continued driving in the burning car for four or five minutes, Snelling said.

The driver, who was the only occupant in the vehicle, stopped in the 9500 block of Peaceful Valley Lane about 10:13 p.m. That's just north of Echo Lake Park and the junction with Mt. Evans Road.

Two deputies approached the man, who brandished a handgun at them while in the burning car. Shots were fired, and the suspect was killed, Snelling said.

It's not clear whether the suspect fired a weapon. Snelling said a second weapon -- a rifle or shotgun -- was found in the vehicle.

The identity of the suspect will be released later by the Clear Creek County Coroner's Office.

The deputies involved in the shooting are on administrative leave. The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is conducting the investigation into the shooting, Snelling said.

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