Building partially collapses after natural gas explosion in Denver

Surgeon: Paramedics, body armor saved life of officer shot multiple times

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DENVER -- A Denver police officer is in the Intensive Care Unit at Denver Health Medical Center after being shot while on duty Tuesday.

Tony Lopez Jr. (Photo: Denver Police)

Tony Lopez Jr. (Photo: Denver Police Department)

Tony Lopez Jr. was shot multiple times, including in the torso and leg. He was in surgery for several hours.

Lopez's father, Tony Lopez Sr., is also a member of the Denver Police Department.

The shooting happened during a traffic stop in northwest Denver shortly before 11:30 a.m. in the area of West 37th Avenue and Federal Boulevard.

Police said one suspect had been shot and taken into custody in fair condition, but there could be additional suspects still at large.

Sources said police performed a PIT maneuver to disable a vehicle a two miles from the shooting at 20th Street and Chestnut Place, just west of Coors Field.

Police later described the individual taken into custody was a person of interest in the shooting.

Denver Police Chief Robert White said Lopez, who was wearing body armor, was performing a routine traffic stop at the time of the shooting. After the gunfire, the suspect fled.

Police spokesman Sonny Jackson said a carjacking happened near a bank shortly after the shooting.

Dr. Gene Moore, who operated on Lopez, said the vest he was wearing likely saved the officer's life. Moore also said a bullet hit a main artery in Lopez's leg, but paramedics saved his life with tourniquets.

Federal Boulevard was shut down between West 36th Avenue and West 38th Avenue for the investigation. Police cleared the scene and reopened the road Tuesday evening.

Denver Public Schools placed several schools into lockouts Tuesday afternoon, but they were lifted by 2 p.m.

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