FORT MORGAN, Colo. -- The community continues to rally around a Fort Lupton police officer who was shot in the line of duty. Sgt. Chris Pelton was shot in the face on Dec. 2 while responding to a call of an armed person. He suffered critical injuries, but is making remarkable progress.
Ernie Marquez is the owner and head trainer at Fort Morgan Gladiators Boxing Gym. He has known Pelton for more than a decade and was once his trainer. He said Pelton’s tremendous physical condition more than likely played a role in his survival.
“I just can’t imagine a guy as big and strong as he is in that situation. He’s a blue belt in jiujitsu and very skilled and strong, ridiculously strong. He was trained in a lot of hand-to-hand combat and he’s been through a lot of training," Marquez said. “He’s got a beautiful family, he’s a great father, he really cared about the youth in our community. That’s one thing I really admired about him: he’s very, very passionate about the youth. He’s a guy that really cares, gives a damn about the kids in our community, the health of our community. He’s a good guy all the way around. Always stood up for what’s right.”
Kelly Pelton, Chris' wife, described him as an amazingly strong individual.
"Anything he sets his mind to, he accomplishes. Nothing holds him back,” Kelly said, adding, “God's grace and mercy will heal him. Words will never be able to express the gratitude we feel for everyone's support and outreach."
They will continue to need prayers and support. Sgt. Pelton faces many more surgeries and a long road to recovery. If you would like to make a donation, two organizations are accepting them:
- The Colorado FOP Police Officer’s Foundation, set up to provide funds to assist families of officers hurt in the line of duty
- MC1 Foundation, a charity for law enforcement