COMMERCE CITY, Colo. -- A male suspect and his vehicle are being sought after he allegedly shot a police officer during a traffic stop Sunday morning, the Commerce City Police Department said.
The officer, Kevin Lord, is recovering at home after being shot at close range. The veteran officer was wearing a bulletproof vest -- and it likely saved his life.
Police are still looking for the suspect who allegedly opened fire on him just after 7 a.m. Sunday in the 9700 block of Peoria Street.
Police aren't saying why the suspect was stopped, but when the officer was talking to the driver, he allegedly fired one shot, hitting the officer in the chest. The officer was able to return fire, but the man sped away in a maroon SUV..
"There was something that did not make this seem extremely dangerous in the initial context. But it is a good reminder, it is dangerous. There is no such thing as a routine traffic stop," Commerce City Cmdr. Dennis Moon said.
Bulletproof vests also saved police in Loveland and Lakewood last year. And dash camera video showed a brutal exchange of gunfire in Stock Island, Fla., last month.
"We are also committed to finding the suspect who committed this crime against a police officer," Moon said.
Police alerted the public through traffic signs along state highways in a so-called "Blue Alert."
The suspect’s vehicle is described as a late-1990s model maroon Nissan Pathfinder, with possible Colorado license plate of 679-UNZ or 697-UNZ. The vehicle might have minor right rear bumper damage and might have damage from the shots the officer fired at the vehicle, police said.
The suspect is described as a white male in his late 40s or early 50s, with brown hair, a thin build, wearing glasses and a black and white scarf around his neck.
"It is a fear every officer and their family face every day. There are moments this profession can be extremely dangerous and you can be killed in the line of duty," Moon said.
Anyone with information is asked to call 911 or contact the Commerce City Police Department at 303-289-3626.