Donald Trump has tweeted his condolences to the victims of the shooting in Highlands Ranch suburb south of Denver, Colorado. Five deputies were shot, one fatally, when they responded to a “verbal disturbance” at 5:14 AM New Year’s Eve Sunday.
“My deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting in Douglas County @DCSheriff, and their families. We love our police and law enforcement –God Bless them all! #LESM,” Trump tweeted.
The deceased deputy, Zachary Parish, 29, had worked for the department for about seven months after working two years at a nearby department further south of Denver; he leaves a wife and two children.
Two civilian residents of the complex were shot by the gunman and have non-life threatening injuries, Sheriff Tony Spurlock reported at a presser. In all, five deputies were shot. The gunman is dead after firing “well over 100 rounds,” Spurlock reported, adding that the apartment complex had been locked down.
The gunman had had encounters with law enforcement throughout the Denver metro area on a number of previous occasions, but had no criminal history, Spurlock said. He would only describe the gunman’s weapon as a “rifle.”
“We are deeply saddened by loss of Zachary. When I sat with his wife, and held her hand, I could see in her eyes her life is over,” Spurlock told reporters, asking for people’s “prayers.”
The scene of the shooting, about 15 miles south of Denver, is minutes from Arapahoe High School where, in 2013, a student entered the building carrying explosive devices and a shotgun, hitting a fellow student before taking his own life. It’s also minutes from Columbine, where, in 1999, two teens gunned down 12 students and one teacher at that neighborhood’s high school, and wounded 21 more students, before taking their own lives.