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Officer-involved shooting Monday night in Fountain following negotiations with armed suspect

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Posted at 6:15 PM, May 24, 2021

EL PASO COUNTY — The El Paso County Sheriff's Office reported a "man with a weapon" Monday evening near Willow Springs Pond in the Fountain area.

Residents were asked to stay away from the area of 400 Willow Springs Rd. Highway 16/Mesa Ridge Pkwy. was closed from I-25 to Highway 85.

Area of 400 Willow Springs Road
Area of 400 Willow Springs Road

Shortly after 8 p.m., the Sheriff's Office reported an officer-involved shooting in Fountain.

Investigators later said that around 3:30 p.m., Fountain Police and a Sheriff's Deputy spotted a man who appeared to be armed at the Luv's truck stop at I-25 and Mesa Ridge Pkwy. He fled to the nearby Willow Springs Park. The park was evacuated and SWAT negotiators were brought in.

The Sheriffs' Office said negotiations went on for several hours and several attempts to deescalate the situation were made. "At some point during the incident, at least one shot was fired from a deputy from the El Paso County Sheriff's Office," Lt. James Vidmar said.

The suspect was struck and then was transported to a local hospital with life-threatening injuries.

The Sheriff's Office did not say what prompted to deputy to fire.

The investigation was handed over to the Colorado Springs Police Department.

On June 3, the Sheriff's Office identified the deputy involved in this incident as Deputy Christopher Donatell. He was placed on administrative leave in accordance with policy and has returned to duty.