Man accused of shooting off-duty Denver officer makes first court appearance

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Samuel McConnell. Credit: Arvada PD

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ARVADA, Colo. – The man accused of shooting an off-duty Denver police detective Wednesday in Arvada made his first court appearance Thursday morning.

Samuel McConnell, 43, had a hearing on advisement. Documents show he was arrested on charges of attempted first-degree murder and robbery/aggravated assault with intent to wound/kill.

Charges have not been officially filed.

Police say the robbery occurred Wednesday morning at a Circle K gas station at West 80th Avenue and Kipling Street.

The detective with the Denver Police Department was shot multiple times, but his injuries are not life-threatening.

There was a search for McConnell Wednesday, and police confirmed McConnell was in custody Wednesday night.

Police asked for assistance in finding the 2010-2015 champagne-colored Chevrolet Equinox that McConnell was believed to be driving without license plates, and the SUV was located at an apartment complex in Westminster.

Authorities say McConnell was arrested without incident a short time after the SUV was found.

According to an arrest affidavit, McConnell had his 2-year-old child with him at the time of the crime.

McConnell is believed to be connected to several recent armed robberies in metro Denver, including one at a Winchell's doughnut shop in Westminster on Tuesday. That robbery occurred in the 7900 block of Sheridan Boulevard.

Sebah Aziz, the doughnut shop's owner, said he feared for his life.

"He tried to grab the cash register and I told him, 'Please do not take the cash register. I’ll give you whatever you want.' Then he didn’t say a word -- no talking. Just pulled the gun right in my face and grabbed the cash register and took off," Aziz said.

The affidavit states that McConnell told investigators he committed the robberies because he did not have a job and wanted money for oxycodone.

Taylor Reid, McConnell's roommate, said he did not trust McConnell because things had gone missing in their apartment.

"It didn’t surprise me a lot," Reid said of the shooting. "At the same time, you never really expect someone you live with to be capable of something kind of crazy like this."

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