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Remembering fallen DougCo Deputy Zack Parrish 1 year after his death

On this day last year, Zackari Parrish, a 29-year-old father and husband, was killed after he was shot by a suspect while responding to a disturbance in Highlands Ranch during the early morning hours of New Year's Eve.

On this day last year, Zackari Parrish, a 29-year-old father and husband, was shot and killed by a suspect while responding to a disturbance turned "ambush-style" attack in Highlands Ranch during the early morning hours of New Year's Eve. 

Parrish had been with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office for just seven months before he and several other deputies answered a call about a disturbance at the Copper Canyon apartment complex on County Line Road, between Colorado Boulevard and University Boulevard around 5 a.m. 

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Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said it was "almost immediately after" law enforcement arrived and was let in by someone who lived there that shooting began. All of the officers were shot very quickly and went down within seconds of each other, Spurlock continued.

Parrish - the doting dad of 4-year-old Caroline and 2-year-old Everly and husband to Gracie Parrish - didn't make it to 2018. He would have turned 30 less than two months after his death. 

Four other deputies and two civilians were also injured when the suspect fired more than 100 rounds, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. 

Those officers were Mike Doyle, 28, Taylor Davis, 30, Jeff Pelle, 32 and Tom O'Donnell, 41.

Spurlock said Parrish's last words to the suspect, who was eventually shot and killed by law enforcement, were "let me help you."

“And up until Deputy Zack Parrish died, he was pleading with the man, begging him, 'Let me talk to you. Let me help you, please.' And then the killer killed him," Spurlock said at his memorial service.

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Deputy Parrish was posthumously awarded the Medal of Valor for his courage and his bravery. He was also named as an operator of the regional SWAT team. It was Parrish's goal to be on that team.

"Never once did I hear Zack Parrish use a foul word, never once did I hear him raise his voice. Never once did I hear him be derogatory to this individual. Not one time," Spurlock said. "Now I know why officers wanted to work with Zack Parrish."

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Parrish's wife Gracie Parrish said her husband loved his job. She described him as “fantastic cop” who lived his job and “breathed it and his blood truly ran blue.”

“It was his calling, it was his passion,” she said.

The couple's youngest daughter, Everly, was 18 months old when her dad died.

“He loved his girls with all his heart and he put so much intentional time into them,” she said.

Gracie Parrish said she leans on her faith. She leans on the belief that, in her words, the sun will come up in the morning.

Before Parrish joined DCSO, he was an officer with Castle Rock Police Department for two years. His first law enforcement job was at the Morrison Police Department, where he served as a reserve officer from June 28, 2014, until the end of that year.

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