Man killed in shootout with Douglas County deputies identified

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DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The Douglas County Coroner’s Office identified the body of a man killed after a car chase and shootout with deputies on Tuesday.

Nicholas Charles Ryan,19, was fatally shot by law enforcement officers after fleeing in a stolen car.

Another was injured and a third was taken into custody after the pursuit through Douglas and Arapahoe counties.

Deputies attempted to make a traffic stop of an SUV for reckless driving at Broadway and C-470 after 3 a.m. when they encountered gunfire.

Two deputies pursued the vehicle, which was reported stolen out of the Denver metro area on Nov. 18, for more than five miles through Centennial and Greenwood Village, Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.

There were four locations where items were thrown out of the vehicle during the pursuit and shots were fired at deputies three times, Spurlock said.

Spurlock said after beginning on eastbound C-470, the chase continued onto Yosemite Street and went through the outer loop of Park Meadows mall.

The suspects then traveled up Chester Street and onto East Dry Creek Road. Spurlock said the suspects were traveling at high speeds the entire time.

The pursuit ended when deputies rammed the vehicle and performed a PIT maneuver on Dry Creek under the Interstate 25 bridge in Arapahoe County, where the stolen vehicle crashed and more shots were fired.

Spurlock said five deputies opened fire at the crash scene. He did not believe they returned fire during the pursuit.

Ryan was pronounced dead at the scene, Spurlock said. A second suspect was taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds and injuries from the crash but is expected to survive. A third suspect, Peirce Elliott Langewisch, 20, was taken into custody and was not injured.

Langewisch had a warrant for his arrest for failing to register as a sex offender.

“You could hear the loud car crash at first, so I thought it was just a wreck. And then you just heard the ‘pop, pop, pop,’ and it sounded like an exchange almost. And that’s when [I] knew something was going on,” said Chris Padilla, who lives nearby.

Another person who lives close to the scene said he had never seen such a large response from law enforcement.

“I’ve never seen so many cop cars pulled up to one scene,” Ryan McCann said.

No deputies or responding officers were injured, Spurlock said.

“I’m very proud of the men and women of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and their ability to do work in this type of environment. They acted, in my opinion, very professionally, very heroically,” Spurlock said.

One firearm was recovered from the suspect vehicle at the crash site.

Dry Creek Road was closed in both directions for more than 12 hours for the investigation. It reopened about 4:45 p.m.

The Greenwood Village and Lone Tree police departments and the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office are assisting in the investigation.

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