SECURITY-WIDEFIELD, Colo. — An El Paso County Sheriff's Office (EPCSO) deputy was among three dead in a shooting in Security on Sunday, including the suspect.
At 5:07 p.m., a caller reported a shooting in the 500 block of Ponderosa Drive in unincorporated El Paso County, according to EPCSO. There were additional calls from citizens who reported hearing shots in the same area.
Two EPCSO deputies and an officer from the Fountain Police Department (FPD) responded to the address, EPCSO said in a release.
When crews arrived, they encountered gunfire from 33-year-old John Paz, EPCSO said.
An EPCSO deputy, 39-year-old Andrew Peery, was hit and gravely injured, the sheriff's office said. Deputies returned fire and immediately began lifesaving measures on Peery.
Peery was transported to an area hospital but died from his injuries, EPCSO said.
While on the scene, deputies and officers located a woman dead in the front yard of a residence in the 500 block of Ponderosa Drive, according to EPCSO.
Detectives from the Colorado Springs Police Department's (CSPD) Homicide/Assault unit got a warrant for the address and entered the home, EPCSO said. Inside detectives found Paz dead inside the home from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
Peery leaves behind a wife and two children, El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said.
Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez released the following statement on Monday:
"Finding the right words to describe the tragedy that took place yesterday is impossible. As the chief of police and as a member of this community, my heart breaks for the two families who have lost loved ones and for the children who have lost a parent. From the community members who called for help, to the deputies, officers, and investigators who responded to the shooting, we are all left incredibly shaken. These tragedies are things I wish did not happen in our community; in the place all of us call home. When these types of horrific acts happen, there is nothing we can do to fully rebuild what was lost or to replace those who are no longer with us."
"To families grieving the loss of a loved one this morning, please accept my heartfelt condolences on behalf of the Colorado Springs Police Department."
"To our brothers and sisters at the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, know the women and men of CSPD stand beside you during this difficult time."
The EPCSO deputy who discharged their weapon has been placed on administrative leave per department policy.
No other officers involved fired a weapon during the incident, EPSO said.
The El Paso County Coroner's Office will make the official cause and manner of death determinations for all three deaths, EPCSO said. The death of Peery and the woman victim are being investigated as homicides.
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