PUEBLO – A Pueblo Police officer is recovering after being hit by a car driven by suspected car thieves. It all happened Wednesday afternoon in an alley in the 1100 block of W. 13th Street. Some of the suspects were later found nearby at 9th & Norwood.
The officer that was struck was taken to a hospital, but was released later that day with some soreness to his leg.
Late Wednesday night, 21-year-old Simon Eugene “Elijah” Gurule Jr. was arrested on several charges including motor vehicle theft.
Tracy Findley, who lives in an area where the incident happened, said, “Stolen vehicle, suspect shot, it’s not something that you have happen in your backyard every day.”
Findley said she was inside her home when she heard gunfire outside.
“It was right behind my home, literally behind my home.”
Pueblo Police said an officer had been patrolling an area on the city’s west side when he came across two vehicles in an alley – a Subaru and a Volkswagen sedan. He soon realized the Subaru was stolen and that’s when the chaos began.
Sergeant Franklyn Ortega said, “One of the vehicles drove away. The other one drove away, struck a police officer in the leg.”
That was the Subaru and as it hit the officer at least one round was fired at the driver by a different officer. A chase began, finally ending at Norwood and 9th Street. The three people in the Subaru were taken into custody immediately.
While no one was seriously hurt, Sergeant Ortega said, “It was a pretty dangerous situation there for a short period of time.”
The real kicker is that this all happened on Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Sergeant Ortega said, “It’s rough, but…that’s the thing is when we show up to work we’ve got to be ready for anything and everything.”
Sergeant Ortega said the suspect that was shot was treated and expected to be released from the hospital soon.
The investigation is just beginning and the sheriff’s department is taking the lead.