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Lakewood police officer’s equipment saved his life in shooting

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LAKEWOOD, Colo. -- The male Lakewood Police officer involved in the holiday weekend shooting has been released from the hospital, the Lakewood Police Department said Monday.

Investigators also identified the suspect they accuse of shooting two officers Saturday as 54-year-old Gordon Moench. He was also released from the hospital after getting treatment for a gunshot wound. Police immediately took him into custody and he's scheduled to make his first court appearance Tuesday morning.

A female officer remained in the hospital Monday night. She was expected to recover from her injuries.

Investigators are still trying to figure out why Moench allegedly shot the two officers near West Jewell Avenue and South Kipling Street shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday.

The man's stepson says his stepfather was not doing well and might have wanted a way out.

“We didn’t even get two minutes into the door and Gordon is going crazy," said Peyton Jackson, the stepson's friend. "Yelling at us. It escalated. Just kept on going how he didn’t do his chores.”

Jackson says they left but minutes later, police say a woman, who was not inside the home, called police asking officers to check on her husband. She said he threatened violence if officers showed up.

"It sounds to me that these shots -- that the suspect fired almost immediately upon the arrival of these two officers," said Steve Davis of the Lakewood Police Department.

Irma Lopez lives a few doors down and says she saw the suspect running before a third officer shot him.

Moench's stepson thinks it was a "suicide-by-cop" attempt. Davis disagrees. He says the two officers were ambushed and that the male officer wasn't even able to get out of his car before he was hit by gunfire. Experts say his bullet-proof vest saved his life.

Jackson says the suspect has been going through a hard time.

“He seemed like a cool guy at first," Jackson said. "Yeah he’s cool and then he started getting really hostile, really harassing us.”

Investigators searched the home Sunday for any clues as to why Moench shot the officers. Both officers and Moench are expected to be OK.