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Report: Officers justified in killing man who fatally shot Douglas County deputy

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. -- Officers who killed the man who fatally shot a Douglas County sheriff's deputy on New Year's Eve were justified to use deadly force, an investigation by the 18th Judicial Critical Response Team found.

The findings of the investigation were released Monday, detailing the events of Dec. 31.

RELATED: 18th Judicial District’s Critical Response Team report

Deputy Zackari Parrish was shot along with three other sheriff’s deputies, a Castle Rock Police Department SWAT officer and two citizens in an ambush at a Highlands Ranch apartment.

Parrish died at the scene. The gunman, Matthew Riehl, also died in the confrontation.

"After reviewing all the evidence and reports, I find that all officers acted completely lawfully in using deadly force against [Riehl]," the letter states. "Mr. Riehl posed a continuing deadly threat to law enforcement and the community."

Officers were called to the apartment at the Copper Canyon Apartments complex at 3404 E. County Line Road in Highlands Ranch twice in the early-morning hours of New Year’s Eve with the first call coming at 3 a.m. on the report of a noise complaint.

Parrish tried to provide Riehl the assistance he needed at the time.

About 5:55 a.m., four deputies were hit by rifle rounds from the suspect's bedroom, the sheriff's office said.

Three of the deputies managed to get to safety, but Parrish was not able to get out of the line of fire.

Because of the large amount of gunfire and injuries they suffered, the other deputies weren't able to rescue Parrish.

Parrish was shot multiple times and according to the attending doctor, wouldn’t have been able to survive his injuries because of where he was shot.

A SWAT team was called out and entered the apartment about 7:30 a.m. Shots were exchanged, resulting in the death of Riehl.

SWAT officer Tom O'Donnell of the Castle Rock Police Department was shot and injured by the suspect.

Riehl fired more than 100 rounds in the attack, the sheriff's office said.

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