Denver police have provided more information about the shooting of one of its officers in Denver’s Sunnyside neighborhood this past weekend and the arrest of a suspect.
Around 11 p.m. Saturday night, officers responded to a call about someone trespassing on the back patio of a home near 42nd and Alcott. As the three officers approached, the person opened fire with what the police say was a sawed-off shotgun.
A patrol officer was hit in his legs and pelvis. His two colleagues applied a tourniquet to his leg and he was rushed to Denver Health, where he remains in critical condition.
A second officer fired multiple shots at the person in the backyard, but didn’t hit them and they were able to escape.
Officers from Denver and nearby jurisdictions immediately established a closed perimeter around the neighborhood and began searching streets, alleys, and yards for the shooter, according to Matt Clark, a commander in the Major Crimes Division who provided an update Monday afternoon.
Pedro Juan Gallegos, 40, first came to police attention a little more than an hour after the shooting, when he tried to ride a bike out of the perimeter.
He was originally arrested on two outstanding warrants from another county, before the investigation turned up enough information to connect him with the shooting. He faces charges of attempted first degree murder, possession of a weapon by a previous offender, and first degree criminal trespass
Denver police aren’t releasing much information about the officer hit, or his condition, but Clark said, “I was told doctors are encouraged with his progress.” He’s been on the force for about four years.
Following protocol, the incident is being investigated by officers from the Denver and Aurora police departments and the Denver District Attorney, with the office of the Independent Monitor providing oversight.