Deputy wounded in New Year’s Eve ambush supports fallen colleague at blood drive

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo.  -- One of the deputies wounded in the ambush that killed Douglas County Deputy Zack Parrish is now telling his story.

There was a blood drive on Friday afternoon in honor of Parrish. Deputy Jeff Pelle was wounded in the New Year's Eve shooting and he showed up in support of his late friend.

“I wouldn’t be here today without people donating blood,” Pelle said.

Deputy Pelle suffered a collapsed lung. His liver and diaphragm were also punctured.

“I don't feel like a hero, I just feel like someone who had a bad day at work,” Pelle said.

Pelle says he's well on his way to a full recovery, but still suffers from pain.

“It’s just one day at a a time, gets a little frustrating. I’ll have two or three good days followed by two or three bad days as far as dealing with pain," Pelle said. “I still have problems with my stomach, mainly where the surgery was with my ribs ... are still broken.”

Almost three months have gone by since that awful day.

“I think about that night 100 times a day, so I try not to question what we did that night, I just hopefully learn from, obviously I think about Zack all the time, it’s still hard,” Pelle said.

He says he hopes to return to work in the coming months.

Pelle said, “I’m a third generation police officer and my wife talking to her she knows I'm going to go back to doing this, it’s in my blood, it’s what I’ve wanted to do my whole life.”

Right now, it's the little things that get him through. He says a big milestone came last week when he walked his dog for the first time.


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