Daron Marquel Ellis, 29, of Aurora, pleaded guilty to the second-degree attempted murder of a federal officer and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence.
Ellis gets stopped for speeding, pursuit ensues
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado, Ellis was pulled over by a Colorado State Patrol trooper on U.S. 34 in Larimer County for speeding on the morning of Dec. 8 last year. When he stopped, he got out of the car without being asked to and the trooper told him to get back in his vehicle.
The trooper explained why he stopped him and then learned the plate on the car was stolen. When the trooper commanded Ellis to get out of the car, Ellis took off at a high rate of speed and the trooper followed.
The chase led all the way to the entrance of Rocky Mountain National Park and that’s when the trooper ended the pursuit.
Ellis enters Rocky Mountain National Park
Rangers at Rocky Mountain National Park were informed of the pursuit and to be on the lookout for the vehicle Ellis was driving. A law enforcement officer at the park, employed by the National Park Service, set up in front of the Fall River entrance around 10:15 a.m. The ranger threw his lights on to stop Ellis when he entered the park.
Ellis attempted to evade the ranger but came to stop when he hit several boulders on the shoulder of the road. The ranger instructed Ellis and his passenger to get out of the car with their hands up but Ellis began firing at the ranger with a 9mm semiautomatic handgun, the Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
The ranger was hit in his torso but protected by a bulletproof vest. Ellis continued to shoot at the ranger and the ranger returned fire. Ellis was struck by the gunfire and surrendered after.
“To shoot at and try to kill a peace officer is a particularly egregious crime that will be punished with significant time in federal prison,” U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan said. “We wish the National Park Service ranger the very best as he continues his recovery from this incident.”
In addition to Ellis’ 23-and-a-half-year sentence, the judge also gave him five years of supervised release.