PARKER CO — A Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy was shot and a suspect was killed during an exchange of gunfire and chase near Sierra Middle School Friday, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said.
Parker police said they were initially called to a home on Dixon Drive, on the report of a suicidal man. When officers arrived, a man fired shots at them, and then got into an RV. The man drove toward Parker Adventist Hospital and continued to fire shots, according to the sheriff’s office.
Witnesses to the chase said the suspect fired at least one shot at them.
Shawn Rubadue said he was on his way to his son at Sierra Middle School.
“I was going to go help out with football practice,” he said.
That’s when he said he saw a man driving an RV crash into a wall.
“Some civilians run over to the camper to make sure that the guy’s okay,” he said. “I see the guy come out and pull out a gun and fire a shot… he shot at my vehicle and the four bystanders that were running in to try to help him.”
Rubadue said he then saw another man pull up in a truck, get out and shoot the suspect.
“[He] reached behind his back and pulled out a 40 caliber and fired like eight shots into the vehicle,” he said.
Police later said that man was not a civilian. It was a detective in plain clothes, they said. The suspect was pronounced dead on the scene.
Rubadue called the detective a hero, and said it’s a miracle he and others weren’t hit.
“Whoever that guy was, he was a savior,” Rubadue said.
Sharon Lotito said when her mom showed up to pick up her 7th grader from Sierra Middle School Friday afternoon, she was met with the sound of gunfire.
“When she got out, she heard the gunshots,” Lotito said. “She said she heard four of them, so she got back in the car. I didn’t hear anything from the school. My daughter started texting me that she was scared.”
That’s what bothered parents the most. Many said they didn’t receive any notification via email or text from the school or the district, adding the emergency notification system was tested three days ago.
“This is a true emergency,” parent Carrie Roberts said. “I’d like to know how my children are doing and what I need to do as a parent.”
A spokesperson for the Douglas County School District said they are investigating reports from parents that they did not receive emergency texts or emails, adding there may have been a technical issue.
The protocol is for schools to take the lead during crisis communication, according to the district.
The spokesperson said the school sent out two notifications, one during the lockdown and another during the dismissal. The IT department is investigating what might have gone wrong.
No students were involved or injured in the incident.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s deputy, who suffered a gunshot wound, has been identified as Detective Dan Brite. He was in critical condition and still in surgery as of 6:20 p.m. Friday.
Brite is married to a Sgt. Christine Brite who also works for the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock requested that the community offer its prayers and support for Detective Brite.
The suspect has not yet been identified.
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