COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KDVR) — Investigators in Colorado Springs say parole officer Christine Guerin Sandoval was killed Thursday while serving a warrant and checking the suspect’s welfare.
During a news conference Friday afternoon, leaders of the Colorado Springs Police Department, 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and Department of Corrections spoke about what happened and the steps moving forward.
According to investigators, Guerin Sandoval was one of three officers at the scene around 3:45 p.m. They approached a vehicle with the suspect in it and when this happened he drove off, hitting Guerin Sandoval and a second female officer.
Both officers were taken to the hospital where Guerin Sandoval died.
“Christine took an oath to protect the citizens of Colorado and she lost her life doing just that,” director of the Department of Corrections Andre Stancil said.
The second officer, who is not being identified for privacy reasons, has been released and is continuing her recovery at home.
After the suspect hit the officers, a Blue Alert was issued identifying the suspect as 41-year-old Justin Andrew Kula as well as a description of his vehicle.
According to Colorado Springs Police Department Public Relations Manager Ira Cronin, several tips were made that helped officers locate the vehicle.
“Please know that your calls truly made a difference and your support continues to matter to our investigation,” Colorado Springs Police Chief Adrian Vasquez said.
Officers responded to the 400 block of Glen View Court and issued a shelter-in-place for people living nearby. Cronin said Kula was taken into custody without incident.
Kula is facing possible charges of manslaughter, leaving the scene of an accident resulting in death and third-degree assault on a peace officer. District Attorney Michael Allen said other charges will be considered as the investigation continues.
As the investigation continues, any witnesses are asked to call Colorado Springs police at 719-444-7000 or Crime Stoppers at 719-634-7867.