Body cam video shows deputies' courage under fire - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Body cam video shows deputies' courage under fire

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The Douglas County Sheriff on Monday released edited body cam video of the deadly encounter in an ambush by a Highlands Ranch gunman on New Year's Eve.  In the videos, Deputy Zackari Parrish's calm demeanor can be heard as he tries to soothe an agitated Matthew Riehl just hours before Riehl would unload more than 100 round of ammunition on Parrish and four other law enforcement officers.

"It's important to me to be able to share with you what happened on December 31st in the early morning hours," Sheriff Tony Spurlock said at the beginning of the nearly 8:30 video.  Spurlock explains how deputies made numerous visits to Riehl's apartment.  "We tried to assist this individual," Spurlock said.  "On December 31st, we did that very same thing."

Body cam video shows deputies arriving at the Copper Canyon Apartments at 3:00 a.m. New Year's Eve.  Deputy Parrish calmly knocks on Riehl's door and identifies himself twice, the second time by only his first name.  After what was apparently a volatile exchange not included in the released body camera video, Deputy Parrish calmly addresses Riehl, saying, "We're here because we want to make sure you're okay.  Do me a favor, though, Matt.  Next time, if you ever call us, try not to scream."

Deputies leave the apartments, only to return roughly two hours later at 5:17 a.m.  "The times between 5:35 and 5:57, the deputies were developing a plan to provide some medical aid and some mental health aid to this citizen," Spurlock said.  "And at 5:57, this is what took place."

The ambush.

An unthinkable hail of gunfire rains on the deputies through the apartment wall and door.  "At that point, Deputy Zack Parrish was shot and fell in the doorway," Spurlock said.

Three other Douglas County deputies and a Castle Rock police officer were wounded.  Even so, the wounded law enforcement officers valiantly tried to rescue their mortally-wounded colleague.  "While deputies were rendering aid to each other, we were continuing to be shot at," Spurlock said.  Deputy Jeff Pelle is seen going to the ground with a gunshot wound to the chest.  A fellow deputy helps render aid while another round of gunfire erupts from Riehl's apartment.

Deputies are heard calling for their fallen colleague.  "Zack, can you hear me?  Parrish, can you hear me!?"

"At 7:30, a rescue mission was put into place where Zack was rescued, and in defending ourselves, we shot and killed the suspect," Spurlock said.

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