LONGMONT -- Detectives seized multiple guns and boxes of ammunition during an afternoon search of the home of a man suspected of shooting an AR-15 at a Longmont police officer who pulled him over early Wednesday morning.
The officer returned fire and hit 28-year-old Jonathan Shank at least three times, leaving him critically injured. The police officer, whose name has not been released, was not injured, according to Longmont Cmdr. Jeff Satur. The officer was armed with a 9 mm Glock 17, police reported.
After serving a search warrant on Shank's home at 1314 S. Emery St., detectives and evidence technicians toted out boxes with several guns and boxes of ammunition and loaded them into a police evidence van.
Satur said the officer initiated a traffic stop at about 2:12 a.m. after spotting a Subaru Impreza that did not have its headlights on. Both vehicles pulled into the parking lot in front of the Best Buy at 210 Ken Pratt Blvd.
After stopping, the driver got out of his vehicle with a rifle and advanced on the officer while firing, Satur said. The officer, who is 36 and has four years of experience, got out of his marked Crown Victoria patrol car and returned fire, hitting Shank at least three times.
The gunman was armed with Bushmaster AR-15 with optics, police said.
Shank was initially taken to Longmont United Hospital but was moved to Denver Health in critical condition, police reported. A Denver Health spokeswoman said Wednesday afternoon that Shank is not listed as a patient; however, if a patient or family member has requested privacy, hospitals are prohibited under federal law to even say if someone is a patient.
Satur confirmed later Wednesday that Shank remained hospitalized in critical condition.
A search of court records shows that Shank was convicted of driving under the influence in Adams County in 2008 and driving under revocation in September 2012 in Boulder County. He also has several minor traffic cases and was convicted in 2005 of underage drinking. He has no felonies in Colorado, records show.
Neighbors said Shank is a quiet man who rarely spoke to them. They said they believe he lived in the home with his sister and her daughter. Many in the neighborhood were curious about the police presence but said they did not know the man police were investigating.
Shank's next-door neighbor said he awoke Wednesday morning to voices outside. The neighbor, who refused to be identified, said he looked out his window and saw people leaving Shank's townhouse. He said he believes that Shank's sister and niece, who also live in the apartment, went to visit him in the hospital.
"All I know is, Jon was a quiet guy. If you got a nod out of him, that would be a lot," the neighbor said.
A second neighbor, who didn't know Shank, said it was scary to learn that the accused gunman lives in her neighborhood. A woman who answered the door in the unit next to Shank's said she did not know him at all.
While police investigated the scene on Wednesday morning, the officer's car and the Subaru sat about four parking spaces apart at the edge of the Best Buy parking lot, near the road.
A large pool of blood was visible next to the officer's car, which still had its lights flashing. The AR-15 lay near the patrol car, as well. Police set up a mobile command center and draped crime scene tape directly in front of the Best Buy.
Satur said the officer used training strategies that likely saved his life. The spotlight on the officer's car appears to have blinded the gunman.
"(The officer) got to the other side of the vehicle, which really helped him. Fortunately, I don't think (the gunman) knew where the officer was," Satur said.
Other officers quickly got to the scene, but the shooting was over by the time they arrived.
"We are so fortunate, so fortunate," Satur said.
Satur said the officer was placed on paid administrative leave per policy while the Boulder County Critical Incident Investigations team investigates the shooting.
Pierrette Shields can be reached at 303-684-5273 or firstname.lastname@example.org.