Armed carjacking suspect killed in high-speed I-70 car chase ID’d

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Damien Ramirez, 27, was shot and killed during exchange of gunfire following a high-speed car chase. (Photo: Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office)

STRASBURG, Colo. — The suspect in a carjacking that led to a high-speed car chase down I-70 ending near Strasburg on Saturday has been identified.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office identified the suspect, who was shot and killed by an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s deputy following exchange of gunfire, as Damien James Ramirez, 27.

The continuing investigation has revealed that Ramirez was a registered sex offender in New Mexico, the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office said Wednesday.

At the time of the incident, Ramirez had two active warrants out for parole violation/sexual assault and probation violation/rape. New Mexico officials  believed he was armed and dangerous.

Officials also learned he had made comments about not going back to jail and planned on killing as many people as possible when contacted by law enforcement, according to the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident began about 6:25 a.m. Saturday when state patrol received a call of a single-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 at mile marker 324 east of Byers.

At about 7:20 a.m., as an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s deputy checked on the people of the accident, a state patrol trooper noticed a man walking on the interstate while holding a gun.

As the trooper tried to stop the man, he ran across the median to try to stop vehicles. A red Chevrolet Tahoe stopped and the suspect forced two occupants out of it.

The suspect then took off westbound in the SUV and reached speeds that exceeded 100 mph. State patrol said sticks were deployed on the interstate, but they did not stop the suspect.

As the suspect reached the Strasburg exit, 14 miles from the original accident scene, the SUV rolled onto its top on the north side of the interstate.

The suspect managed to get out of the vehicle with the gun and as numerous law enforcement agencies arrived on the scene, there was an exchange of gunfire that led to the suspect being fatally shot by an Arapahoe County Sheriff’s deputy.

There were no other injuries.

The deputy has been put on routine paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the ongoing investigation.

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