DENVER (CBS4) – An emergency alert called a “blue alert” was sent out on Wednesday for people across the Denver metro area to be on the lookout for a suspect in a robbery who shot an off-duty police officer. The detective was taken to the hospital is expected to make a full recovery.
The brazen armed robbery took place at at a Circle K gas station in Arvada at West 80th Avenue and Kipling Street at 8:45 a.m.
“I was just like in line to check out and I turned around and I saw him with a gun and a ski mask,” said Avery Anderson.
While Anderson took cover with her father, police say an off-duty Denver detective tried to stop the man outside.
“I told her to get down and then the gunshots started going off,” said Anderson’s father.
Soon after that the suspect was gone and the detective was on the ground.
“Everybody was just trying to help out over there. With belts and trying to stop the bleeding and stuff,” Anderson said.
The 14-year veteran with the Denver Police Department, a detective, was with a family member when he was shot. Doctors at Denver Health say he has injuries to both arms but will be okay.
“It is a call you don’t want to ever receive. Thankfully in this situation a member of our family is going to be okay,” Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said.
Arvada police released photos of the suspect as well as the SUV he left in, which didn’t have license plates.
Investigators are also looking into any connections with recent robberies in Erie and Westminster. According to Erie Police, a male suspect, fitting a similar description, robbed another Circle K at gunpoint on Monday morning. Much like the Arvada incident, the suspect left in a Chevy Equinox. On Tuesday afternoon, Westminster police officers responded to an armed robbery at the Winchell’s where the suspect matches the description from the incident in Arvada, an investigator said.
The shooter is described as being white with a medium build and he was last seen wearing a tan jacket and black hat at 8:45 a.m. at the Arvada gas station, which is located at West 80th Avenue and Kipling Street. The vehicle he escaped in was described as being a silver Chevrolet Equinox with body damage.
Blue alerts are issued by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation “to disseminate information when a law enforcement officer is seriously injured or killed in the line of duty.”