Trump, Colorado officials express ‘deepest condolences’ for victims in Douglas County shooting

Author: Ernest Luning - December 31, 2017 - Updated: January 2, 2018

David Morgan of Highlands Ranch, Colo., holds an American flag as a procession of law enforcement vehicles accompany a hearse carrying the body of a sheriff's deputy shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Morgan of Highlands Ranch holds an American flag as a procession of law enforcement vehicles accompany a hearse carrying the body of a sheriff’s deputy shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance on Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017, in the Denver suburb. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

President Donald Trump offered his condolences Sunday morning to the victims of a shooting in Highlands Ranch that killed one Douglas County sheriff’s deputy and wounded six others, including four deputies.

“My deepest condolences to the victims of the terrible shooting in Douglas County @dcsheriff, and their families. We love our police and law enforcement – God Bless them all!” Trump said on Twitter.

Authorities say deputies were called to the scene of a domestic disturbance before dawn at an apartment complex in the suburb south of Denver. Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said a suspect fired more than 100 rounds and likened the attacks on the officers to an ambush. He said the unidentified suspected gunman was killed during the shootout.

The slain officer was identified by authorities as Douglas County Sheriff’s Deputy Zachariah Parrish. He was 29 years old and married with two children and had been with the agency for about seven months.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the family and friends of Deputy Parrish. We can only imagine the depth of grief they are experiencing,” said Gov. John Hickenlooper in a written statement.

“We also hope for a speedy recovery for the Douglas County deputies and the Castle Rock police officer injured in the incident, as well as the residents who also were affected.

“The call to protect and serve too often leads to this ultimate sacrifice. We are grateful for the service of Deputy Parrish, his fellow deputies, and that of the Castle Rock police officer.  We pray for their and their families’ strength and resolve in the days and months ahead.”

Colorado’s U.S. senators issued statements Sunday morning expressing support for law enforcement officers and offering  their prayers.

“My heart breaks for all of those affected by the terrible tragedy in Douglas County,” said U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner in a written statement. “Jaime and I are praying for the citizens and Deputies injured at the scene, and our hearts go out to the family of the Deputy who was fatally wounded. Our law enforcement officers work tirelessly every day to keep our communities safe and today all of Colorado stands with our law enforcement community.”

“Our prayers are with the families of the deputy who was killed and the other officers injured in the line of duty. ​We are deeply grateful for the bravery of our law enforcement—and honor their sacrifice—as they work each day to protect our communities and keep us safe,” said U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet in a written statement.

Members of Colorado’s congressional delegation also weighed in:

“Heartbroken by the news out of Highlands Ranch today. As story develops, my prayers are with the family of the fallen officer, the wounded and all those in the @dcsheriff family. Thx you for your service!,” wrote U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, who represents the area, in a tweet.

U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn called the shooting a tragedy and said his prayers were with the fallen deputy’s family and the sheriff’s department.

“This is an awful tragedy for Colorado and the nation,” Lamborn said in a statement. “My heart and prayers go out to the families of all involved, in particular to the family of Deputy Zack Parrish and the entire Douglas County Sheriff’s Department. I encourage everyone to continue to pray for the injured and their families at this very difficult time.”

“Very sad to hear about the shooting in Highlands Ranch this morning. My heart goes out to those injured, including the first responders who acted so quickly and bravely to protect their community,” U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter said on Twitter.

“Praying for everyone impacted by the events in Highlands Ranch this morning, especially for the family of the officer who lost his life,” wrote U.S. Rep. Ken Buck on Twitter.

“Thinking about the tight-knit law enforcement family throughout Colorado today. Grateful for their service and bravery – and heartbroken for their pain and loss. Praying for all @dcsheriff,” U.S. Rep. Jared Polis wrote on Twitter.

“Devastated to hear the news coming out of Douglas County, CO. My prayers are with the fallen deputy, the officers and civilians who were injured, and their families. @dcsheriff,” U.S. Rep. Scott Tipton tweeted.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

— The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning

Ernest Luning is a political correspondent for Colorado Politics. He has covered politics and government for newspapers and online news sites in Colorado for more than 25 years, including at the Highlands Ranch Herald, the Jefferson Sentinels chain of community newspapers and the Aurora Sentinel, where he was the city hall and cops reporter. After editing the Aurora Daily Sun, he was a political reporter and blogger for The Colorado Independent site. For nearly a decade, he was a senior political reporter and occasional editor at The Colorado Statesman before the 119-year-old publication merged with Colorado Politics in 2017.