LIMON, Colo. (CBS4) - A man who shot Lincoln County Deputy Michael Hutton several times in an overnight ambush has been found dead in a field from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities say there is no longer a threat to the public following a manhunt which lasted for several hours on Colorado's Eastern Plains after the shooting. Hutton is in serious condition at the hospital.
Early Thursday morning on a rural stretch of Highway 40/287 outside of Limon, two semi-trucks were parked. Suddenly one of the truck drivers saw a person breaking into the truck he wasn't driving and called 911. Within minutes Hutton arrived on the scene to investigate. As soon as he stepped out of his car the situation turned dangerous. Capt. Michael Yowell with the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office said "He was met with a hail of gunfire and was struck multiple times."
The shooter got away and Hutton he was able to retreat and call for backup. When paramedics arrived, he was taken to the hospital and his colleagues held their breath.
"I struggle to find a word for it. Scared, and if anybody tells you different they are wrong," said Yowell.
In the meantime, agencies from nearby counties and Colorado State Patrol responded and a manhunt began. Their efforts were hampered by a thick morning fog on the plains, so they were on alert.
"Between the fog and the darkness, we didn't know what we would find but we knew what had already happened," said Yowell.
At around 10 a.m. the fog lifted and a property owner spotted something in his field near the crime scene.
Yowell explained, "For the once in a great while in eastern Colorado it's pretty green out here and so we were able to see some different colors out there in the green prairie."
SWAT teams swarmed the area and found who they believe to be the suspect dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Then came the news they had been waiting and hoping for.
"I am happy to report that Deputy Sheriff Michael Hutton of the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office in in serious but stable condition," said Yowell.
Hutton is able to talk with investigators and his body camera captured the incident on video. He is recovering alongside his family in a Denver-area hospital.
So far it's not clear if he returned fire during the ambush.
One of the people who was in one of the trucks was near Hutton when he was shot and that person suffered a minor injury but refused medical treatment.
The deceased suspect has not been identified.
Highway 40 was closed from Limon to Kit Carson while an investigation took place.
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