AURORA, Colo. -- A chaotic scene took place in Aurora early Monday morning after an officer was attacked followed by the theft of a police cruiser, and ending with a chase and police fatally shooting the suspect.
The incident began at Interstate 225 and East Alameda Avenue when an Aurora police officer stopped to help what he thought was a stranded motorist during a snowstorm around 3:40 a.m.
But as the officer walked away from the car, the suspect attacked the officer from behind, police said.
Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz showed a graphic photo of the head wounds the officer suffered.
"This was an unprovoked attack and frankly I feel very comfortable in saying that I believe this an attempt murder on my officer," Metz said.
The injured police officer is expected to recover.
Carlos Morales was plowing a nearby parking lot and recorded video of the scene on his cellphone. Gunshots could be heard on the recording and someone yelling "Put your hands up."
"When I heard some shots like some loud shots and first thing that came to my mind was to look up at to where the officers were and sure enough there was a cop running after a police vehicle and that's when the second series of shots came," Morales said.
"And then the officer's vehicle did a U-turn and came back towards the officer and then that's when the officer reloaded and unloaded on to the police cruiser,."
The suspect sped off in the stolen police car eastbound to East Alameda Parkway and East Kentucky Avenue with multiple officers in pursuit. After one of them rammed the car and forced it to spin out, they were able to approach the vehicle.
"The suspect got out of the vehicle and he was ordered numerous times to give up, to stop, put his hands up. ... He did not comply with those orders and at that time our officer did fire at the suspect," Aurora police spokesman Lt. Scott Turep said.
The suspect died at the scene.
"We heard about eight gunshots and then we saw the police coming and there were a ton of cop cars," witness Marcie Buel said.
Investigators spent the day examining evidence at the shooting scene.
"It's kinda scary that happened right there and didn't know what was going on and obviously someone was killed so it's pretty intense," witness Eddie Chacon said.
Radio transmissions among officers and a dispatcher during the incident are dramatic.
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