EAGLE COUNTY — A Colorado State Patrol trooper was shot and a suspect was killed in an incident along westbound Interstate 70 Thursday morning.
Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario said two troopers were traveling in a car westbound on their way to training in Glenwood Springs. They stopped at mile marker 129, near the Bair Ranch exit just inside the east end of the canyon, to assist a motorist on the side of the road shortly after 9 a.m., Vallario said.
One of the troopers approached the car on the driver’s side, and the driver shot the trooper, Vallario said. The second trooper returned fire and killed the suspect, the only occupant in the car, the sheriff said.
The officer was taken by ambulance to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs. He was in and out of consciousness, and he lost a lot of blood, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.
The trooper is out of surgery, but there is no word on the extent of injuries nor how many times shot, authorities said. Vallario said gunfire was exchanged, but an unknown number of shots was fired; the incident remains under investigation.
Several troopers in the area were on their way to the training, Vallario said. They were able to administer first aid within moments and secure the scene.
Interstate 70 was closed in both directions near Wolcott on Thursday. Vallario said the first priority was to secure the crime scene.
TEMPERS FLARE IN TRAFFIC
In Wolcott, tempers started to run a little high as traffic remained stopped Thursday morning.
A man waved a gun at Colorado Department of Transportation workers as they worked traffic control. They were immediately descended upon by some of the many, many law enforcement officers at the scene.
A man and woman were taken into custody.
In another incident, a truck driver stuck in traffic jumped down from his truck and almost started a fight.
“People need to try to understand that we’re just doing our jobs, the same as everyone else,” said a CDOT staffer at the scene.