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Sheriff releases new details in deadly officer ambush - KOAA.com | Continuous News | Colorado Springs and Pueblo

Sheriff releases new details in deadly officer ambush

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Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock sat down for one-on-one interviews with media outlets across the state Tuesday, revealing new information in the New Year's Eve shooting ambush on deputies inside a Highlands Ranch apartment.

"He had a camera on the exterior of the house and he was monitoring our entry and he had a camera inside the house that we later learned fed to a monitor in his bedroom," Spurlock said.  "Unbeknownst to the officers, they were on video at all times."

Spurlock says shooter Matthew Riehl had 15 guns in his apartment, all purchased legally, including two rifles, at least three pistols, and a shotgun.  Deputies had heard that Riehl might have weapons, but there had never been cause to investigate them as Riehl had yet to commit any crime.  "We get information all the time that folks have weapons in their house and we address it that way," Spurlock said.  During an initial response to Riehl's apartment around 3:00 a.m. December 31 on a reported domestic disturbance, Deputy Zackari Parrish calmly talked Riehl down from near hysteria.  At the time, there were no weapons visible nor any reason to suspect a violent attack was imminent.

"If we hadn't had the shootout inside the apartment complex, we would've said, 'Do you have weapons? Where are they? Let's secure them because we're going to take you from here and get you some mental health or medical treatment,'" Spurlock said.

Spurlock also released hours of unedited body cam video of the ambush.  Much of it is too graphic and disturbing to broadcast.  It shows deputies entering Riehl's apartment, which is strewn with furniture and other items in an obstacle course leading from the front door to the back bedroom, where Riehl had barricaded himself.  As deputies try to kick down the bedroom door to get Riehl to come out, he opens fire, mortally wounding Parrish and injuring the other deputies inside.  It took more than 90 minutes to successfully enter Riehl's barricaded bedroom, where he was killed in an exchange of gunfire with SWAT officers.  Parrish's body was then successfully removed.

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