Police investigate the scene of a shooting that critically injured Colorado Springs Police Officer Cem Duzel Thursday morning, Aug. 2, 2018, in Colorado Springs, Colo. Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey says Officer Duzel was wounded after responding with other officers to a report of shots fired east of downtown early Thursday. He says they found an armed suspect, and there was an exchange of gunfire. (Christian Murdock/The Gazette via AP)

Colorado police officer critically wounded in shootout

August 02, 2018 - 3:53 pm

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) — A police officer was critically wounded in a shootout in Colorado Springs after responding to a report of gunfire.

Cem Duzel was among a group of officers who responded east of downtown, not far from the U.S. Olympic Training Center, early Thursday, Police Chief Pete Carey said. They found an armed suspect, gunfire was exchanged and Duzel was wounded, Carey told reporters at the hospital where Duzel was being treated.

The suspect also was hospitalized but was expected to recover.

"This has been an extremely difficult year with law enforcement, officers being hurt or killed, in particular in our region," Carey said. "Please keep Officer Duzel, his family and the Colorado Springs police department in your thoughts and prayers."

Three law enforcement officers were killed in the line of duty in Colorado over a five-week stretch starting on New Year's Eve. El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy Micah Flick was fatally shot in Colorado Springs on Feb. 5 — the last in the string of deaths.

Investigators said a suspected car thief fired a semiautomatic handgun, killing Flick, after the deputy and other officers confronted him in an apartment complex parking lot. The suspect, Manuel Zetina, 19, also was killed.

Duzel has been a police officer in Colorado Springs for five years. In 2015, he and other officers were in the news for helping rescue a bear cub who managed to get her head stuck in a plastic bottle.

KRDO-TV reported that they were not able to remove the bottle but managed to get the bear in a patrol car and take her to a wildlife officer.

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