Pueblo, CO – An armed parolee with a warrant out for his arrest was fatally shot during a gun battle with police on Tuesday night.
The incident occurred outside the Don Quixote Apartment complex on Acero Avenue at approximately 11:30 p.m., after two Pueblo police officers spotted a suspicious man carrying a backpack, The Pueblo Chieftain reported.
The suspect, later identified as 28-year-old convicted felon Michael Hensley, took off running when the officers stopped to question him.
The officers chased after him until Hensley suddenly stopped and began shooting at them, police said.
The officers immediately returned fire.
“I heard 20 to 30 gunshots over the course of a minute,” Don Quixote Apartments resident Chris Meese later told The Pueblo Chieftain. “It was kind of easy to tell there were multiple different weapons being fired, just because of the different tonality between the shots.”
Hensley was fatally shot by police during the shootout, and died at the scene, The Denver Post reported.
Neighbor Bill Genovese said he witnessed the gun battle from the window of his home, according to KPTV.
“The policeman was right in what he did,” Genovese said. “Why the guy didn’t stop, I don’t know…but if he would have just stopped, he wouldn’t have been dead today.”
One of the officers, a married father of a young child, suffered gunshot wounds to both of his legs.
He was rushed to a Colorado Springs hospital, where he underwent emergency surgery on Wednesday morning, The Pueblo Chieftain reported.
He is expected to survive his injuries, police said.
“The gunshot wounds caused extensive damage to the officer’s legs, and he is expected to be hospitalized for several weeks,” the Pueblo Police Department said in a news release, according to The Denver Post.
Pueblo Police Sergeant Frank Ortega struggled to hold back tears as he discussed the injuries his fellow officer suffered.
“I’m very frustrated that we are just trying to do our job, [and] people are trying to kill us for doing our job,” St. Ortega told KPTV. “I’m very grateful that he is still here…that we are there to support him.”
The involved officers have been placed on administrative leave while the Tenth Judicial Critical Incident Team investigates the shooting, as per protocol, The Pueblo Chieftain reported.
At the time of the fatal encounter, Hensley had an active warrant out for his arrest for absconding from parole.
He was previously convicted of two separate instances of felony menacing with a real or simulated weapon in both 2010 and 2015, and was also convicted of escape in 2012.