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ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — The man who shot and critically wounded a Cherry Hills Village police officer during a home invasion robbery was sentenced to 44 years in prison.

Angelo Alston was just 17 years old when prosecutors said he broke into a home with several other individuals. Alston pled guilty to attempted murder of a police officer and aggravated robbery.

In August of 2018, Officer Cory Sack responded to the call for help at the home and was ambushed, shot in both legs. Sack was able to return fire and actually hit the gunman. It was a single drop of blood left on the back fence of the home that led to his identification and arrest. 

Sack said he prepared his remarks for the sentencing hearing after finally being able to return to the scene. He told the judge, ”The defendant represents the purest evil and selfishness our society has to offer.” He continued, “There is no doubt in my mind the defendant wanted me dead so he could continue with his gang lifestyle and robberies. I had a badge. That was the reason he wanted me dead. As I laid in ICU trying to recover, the defendant flaunted pictures on social media showing off the cash and watches he had stolen.”

Sack said he missed out on activities with his young children and was not able to attend family events while he was in the hospital. He’s had seven surgeries and is facing at least one more. “I’ve done physical recovery and mental recovery and gotten back to work. This is one of the last things holding me and my family up from some closure,” Sack told FOX31’s Deborah Takahara after the sentencing.

The defendant addressed the court as well. “I am sorry for everything I caused. I am sorry for what officer Sack went through when al he was doing was his job to protect and serve. They shouldn’t have to go through any of this. I should’ve made better choices. I made mistakes in my life and I take responsibility for them. I want to show the community I am a better man.”

Sack’s wife said his heroic acts that night saved an entire family. A family that is still so traumatized they could not bring themselves to be in court for the sentencing. “The defendant would call himself lo lo with the fo fo, so I thought to myself the 44 years would be appropriate in this case,” said Sack. The maximum sentence for attempted murder of a police officer is 48 years in prison.

“The defendant took responsibility for his actions which is the first time I’ve been able to hear that, so it was able to bring peace to myself and my wife, help bring closure to that,” Sack said.

After the sentencing, Sack met briefly with the defendant’s father. “I know it wouldn’t be appropriate to make contact with the defendant right now. I just wanted his father to know. Not today or tomorrow, but I believe there is going to be a place in my heart I do forgive him for his actions.”

This was the first time a Cherry Hills Village police officer was wounded in the line of duty. Sack hopes it will be the last. “I hope it’s a deterrent to others. You can’t just run around and cause trauma and make people become victims for no reason at all. Your actions have real consequences,” Sack said.

Two other defendants were previously sentenced for their roles in the home invasion. Prosecutors believe there are two others who have not yet been identified.