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Former Officer Cem Duzel and father thank Colorado Springs for support following shooting

Remarks come after shooter sentenced to 45 years in prison
CSPD Officer Cem Duzel
Posted at 1:31 PM, Sep 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-17 12:09:32-04

COLORADO SPRINGS — According to the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi has been sentenced to 45 years in prison after an El Paso County jury found him guilty of several crimes related to the 2018 shooting of Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel.

In June Al Khammasi was convicted of "one count of criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree, the associated crime of violence counts for this charge, three counts of assault in the first degree, one count of menacing, and one count of prohibited use of a weapon," according to the 4th Judicial District of El Paso and Teller counties.

Cem Duzel and his father briefly spoke to the media after sentencing. Cem thanked everyone for their support throughout his recovery.

His father bluntly stated that no one is supposed to survive a gunshot wound to the head like his son. He also is glad Al Khammasi is off the streets but does believe 45 years in prison is not enough.

"(The) only way I can explain it, is a miracle. We've had great doctors along the way. I don't think it would have made out.. without their help," said Mumtaz Duzel.

According to his father, Duzel and his fiancee are in the process of planning to be married, perhaps next summer.


The shooting

In the early hours of August 2, 2018, Officer Duzel and Corporal Carter were responding separately to calls for shots fired in the area of Boulder St and Bonfoy. According to police radio traffic obtained by News5, there were at least three calls from witnesses in the area who called 911 to report hearing gunshots or seeing a man tuck a pistol in his waistband.

Investigators said Duzel made contact with Al Khammasi, who was walking west along Boulder Street, when they shot at each other. Duzel was shot in the head.

Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi
Karrar Noaman Al Khammasi was convicted in 2021 for the attempted murder of Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel in 2018.

Corporal Carter arrived on the scene shortly afterward and fired his weapon in order to disarm the suspect. Immediately after the shooting, Carter provided medical care for both until medics arrived.

In the weeks after the shooting, the community rallied to support Cem Duzel as he underwent extensive treatment at UCHealth Memorial Hospital before being transferred to a rehabilitation hospital in Denver. The most recent update from the Colorado Springs Police Department indicated he had moved out of state to live near his family.

Officer Cem Duzel served for 5 years with the Colorado Springs Police Department within the Sand Creek Division.

In June 2019, WWE star John Cena visited Duzel and his family at their home in New York where he moved to continue recovery.

Cem Duzel and John Cena
Cem Duzel, a Colorado Springs Police officer wounded in the line of duty, meets John Cena.

Duzel returned to Colorado Springs to lead the Procession of Heroes at the annual Medal of Valor Luncheon at the Broadmoor in 2019.

He was awarded the Colorado Springs Police Department's Medal of Honor and Purple Heart. More than 800 people were on hand to show their support for his recovery.

The event honors Colorado Springs Police Officers who have shown extreme courage, bravery, and dedication.

Ofc Cem Duzel Medal of Honor
Officer Cem Duzel is awarded the Medal of Honor and Purple Heart by Colorado Springs Police Chief Vince Niski.

As he left a hospital in Colorado Springs for rehabilitation, officers with the Colorado Springs Police Department lined the halls to honor their colleague.

Officer Cem Duzel transferred to rehabilitation center in Denver
Colorado Springs Police officers line the halls of UCHealth Memorial Central Hospital as Officer Cem Duzel is discharged and transferred to a rehabilitation facility in Denver. (Courtesy: UCHealth)