A man shot during an incident with law enforcement officers Saturday in Cortez was scheduled for surgery Monday at a Denver hospital.
Two Montezuma County law enforcement officials were involved in the shooting, which took place after Zachary Sullivan, 31, allegedly pulled a gun on one of the officers. Neither of the officers was injured.
A Cortez Police Department officer and Montezuma County Sheriffs Office deputy were involved in the incident, according to Cortez Police Chief Roy Lane. Both officers were responding to a dispatch call regarding an allegedly intoxicated man when the incident occurred.
At about 18 minutes after midnight dispatch received a call of a man who appeared to be drunk walking south on Oak Street in the area of 1515 S. Oak St., Lane said Saturday. Two officers responded in separate cars and contacted the gentleman, Zachary Sullivan.
Sullivan is known to law enforcement officers and has had numerous interactions with officers in the past few years, Montezuma County Sheriff Dennis Spruell said Saturday.
During contact with the officers, Sullivan allegedly pulled out a concealed semi-automatic handgun and pointed it in the face of the police officer. Officers responded immediately, shooting Sullivan multiple times, according to Lane.
Both officers fired at the suspect and struck him multiple times, Lane said.
Immediately after the incident, numerous other officers responded to the scene. One officer from the police department arrived on the scene at the time of the incident and witnessed the shooting, according to Spruell, who noted the officers responded to the situation as they were trained.
Their training kicked in, and they did what they were supposed to do, he said.
Sullivan was transported to Southwest Memorial Hospital for treatment and was immediately airlifted to Denver General Hospital. Patient services at Denver General listed Sullivan in serious condition Saturday afternoon. The hospital did not list Sullivan in its directory Monday, and specific information on Sullivans injuries was not available.
On Sunday, Spruell and Lane both said Sullivan was transferred to a secure ward. On Monday, Sullivan was in the custody of the Denver County Jail.
Lane said on Sunday that he did not believe Sullivans injuries were life-threatening.
Sullivan was arrested in Cortez in 2001 and charged with several counts of aggravated armed robbery, menacing, assault and larceny for which he was convicted and sentenced to eight years in prison, according to a criminal history report. He has also been convicted of criminal mischief and smuggling weapons and contraband into prison.
Investigation of the incident has been turned over to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the two officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, as per department policy, until the investigation is complete. Officers names will not be released until the investigation is complete.
It is standard procedure for both agencies to place officers involved in such an incident on leave, Lane said. We call in CBI since both agencies were involved to ensure the incident is independently and fairly investigated.
Spruell asked that any potential witnesses of the shooting contact either the Cortez Police Department or Montezuma County Sheriffs Office.
Charges have not been filed in the case and will be handled by the CBI, Lane said.
Any charges will be filed through the (22nd Judicial District Attorneys) office by CBI, he said.
Reach Kimberly Benedict at [email protected]