Sheriff’s Deputy Killed, 2 Deputies Injured In Colorado Shootout

BAILEY — A Park County sheriff’s deputy was killed and two others were wounded while trying to serve an eviction notice on Wednesday, authorities said.

A male suspect is also dead.

The shooting happened around 9:30 a.m. at the Friendship Ranch subdivision, said Susan Medina, a Colorado Bureau of Investigation spokeswoman.

“It’s a very fluid situation,” Medina says. “It is a dark day.”

The deputy who died was a 10-year veteran of the sheriff’s office.

One of two wounded officers suffered life-threatening injuries, and the other was not considered in danger, Medina said. Both were being treated at St. Anthony Hospital in Lakewood.

The three deputies went to the home to serve an eviction notice at a home on Iris Drive and were met by a man at the home who opened fire with a rifle, Medina said.

Property records list the resident of the home as Martin Wirth, who once ran for state Senate and has been listed as an Occupy Denver activist.

A website for the Colorado Foreclosure Resistance Coalition had said Wirth faced eviction on Monday and urged people to go to the home to support him.

“We need to buy him enough time to file for a temporary restraining order on the eviction and attempt to restart the legal battle that he is very adept at,” the website said.

“We are now calling for a non-violent eviction resistance at Martin’s,” said a statement on the group’s website. “(Wirth) has been an invaluable part of Occupy Denver from the very early days, he has sheltered people on several occasions as well as hosting the Occupy retreat. His property is an amazing mountain escape with lots of room for tents and camping.”

Officials have not released the names of anyone involved in the shooting.

Medina said authorities do not believe that other residents are in danger at this point.

“Right now what we can do as a community is come together,” Medina said

Federal, state and local law enforcement officials were participating in the investigation.

Jefferson County sent members of its bomb squad and SWAT team to assist deputies, the sheriff’s office said via Twitter.

Officers in body armor and carrying long guns were behind police tape near the shooting scene.

Jeff Scott owns the Crow Hill Cafe in Bailey and lives in Friendship Ranch. The neighborhood is typically quiet, he said.

“I usually hear horses making noise and livestock,” Scott said. “Certainly not gunshots other than people doing target practice.”

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