Police thankful deputy is alive after shooting with driver

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- The Littleton Police Department said it is thankful a Douglas County sheriff's deputy is alive after his good intentions to help what he thought was a stranded motorist nearly cost him his life.

It happened around 6:45 p.m. Friday near County Line Road and South Santa Fe Drive when a deputy noticed a vehicle on the side of the road.

After the deputy stopped, the driver pulled out an assault rifle and bullets went flying, investigators said.

"As he approached the vehicle, the driver got out and confronted the deputy with a rifle and the deputy, being in fear for his safety and in fear for his life, engaged the individual and ended up shooting him," Littleton police Cmdr. Trent Cooper said.

Seconds later, Littleton officers were called to the scene. The driver had been shot and the deputy was not injured.

"It certainly could have cost the deputy his life," Cooper said. "You know, it just goes to show how unpredictable, how the situations are where this deputy thought he was making a courtesy traffic stop and helping a motorist in need and a short time later, he’s involved in an officer-involved shooting."

Police have not identified the driver, but he will be charged with first-degree assault when he’s released from the hospital.

Littleton police and the Critical Incident Response Team from the 18th Judicial District are investigating the shooting.