Officer shot in face said to be in ‘good spirits’

AURORA, Colo. — According to the Aurora Police Department, the officer shot while trying to capture a homicide suspect is at home recovering.

He is said to be in ‘good spirits,’ and the Department tweeted their thanks Friday with the hashtag “Your Support Matters.”

Part of the tweet reads, “We wanted to express our gratitude to the community for all of their support, encouragement and prayers over the past two weeks.”

The officer received a bullet wound in the face on the afternoon of November 8.

He was shot in the 14500 block of East 46th Avenue in Denver’s Montbello area.

After the incident, Aurora police released a photo of the gunshot wound he sustained in order to “show how close this officer came to losing his life.”

“It’s a miracle if not a blessing that my officer is still with us,” Aurora police Chief Nicholas Metz said at the time. “We would like to thank everyone for their words of encouragement and support during this difficult time.”

Aurora police said the incident began with a shooting at 142 Del Mar Circle about 11:20 a.m.

Police found the victim in the parking lot with multiple gunshot wounds. They rendered aid and he was taken to University of Colorado Hospital where doctors pronounced him dead.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office identified the victim Wednesday as 35-year-old Antonio Norwood.

Sgt. Steve Jokerst of the Aurora police major crimes unit said several witnesses were able to provide a description of the suspect, type of vehicle and license plate.

They were able to match the license plate to an address on East 46th Avenue where they found the black Chevrolet Monte Carlo in the driveway outside of a house.

Denver police Lt. Matt Clark said the two agencies were able to coordinate their response.

“The subject emerged from the residence. He was carrying an infant — we believed to be his child — in a carrier. He loaded the carrier into the vehicle,” Clark said.

He said officers became concerned about the suspect, later identified as 23-year-old Juan Ramos, leaving in the vehicle with the infant inside, knowing he was suspected in the shooting 30 minutes earlier, and that he had a propensity for violence and was likely armed.

Clark said an Aurora police tactical team of four officers attempted to contact Ramos while he was still outside of the vehicle.

They were in an unmarked vehicle, but Clark said Ramos recognized them to be officers. At that point, Ramos produced a gun and began shooting at the officers. The officers returned fire, Clark said.

Clark said officers were aware of the infant in the car, and kept their gunfire from going toward the child. Two Aurora officers and one Denver officer fired their guns.

Ramos was pronounced dead at the scene. Clark said Ramos had a limited criminal history, including arrests for assault and a burglary.

He also said investigators recovered a gun near Ramos along with several shell casings.

The Aurora police officer who was shot was taken to University of Colorado Hospital in a Denver police cruiser.