A Denver police officer was saved by his bulletproof vest in a shootout with a suspect early Wednesday morning and the male suspect died. It happened on the 2600 block of Zuni Street, near where Speer Boulevard intersects with Interstate 25.
"All of the rounds apparently were stopped by the bulletproof vest that he was wearing," said Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas.
The officer was in his police vehicle outside a hotel at 4 a.m. when he saw a male walk past and then into the Quality Inn. Thomas said the suspect then came back out of the hotel, pulled out a gun and started shooting at the officer through the passenger side window.
The officer was hit several times, but Thomas says he "was able to exit the vehicle on the driver's side, seek cover and then return fire." The two exchanged shots and the officer fired until the suspect went down.
When other officer arrived at the scene they found the officer down along with the suspect. They were both taken to the hospital where the suspect was pronounced dead. The officer was described as having non-life threatening injuries and is in stable condition.
"He is in some significant discomfort," said Thomas, who said his family is by his side as he is treated.
So far it's not clear if there was any illegal activity before the showdown outside the hotel. An investigation into the officer-involved shooting is underway.
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