Denver police investigate if friendly fire killed officer

The officer was killed after police responded to a report of shots fired in a residential area.

DENVER — Authorities said they were investigating the possibility that a police officer killed Friday might have been shot by a colleague when gunfire erupted after the arrest of three men in suburban Lakewood, authorities said.

The unidentified officer was killed after police responded to a report of shots fired in a residential area, police spokesman Steve Davis said.

Asked if the officer may have been killed by another cop, Davis said, "I caution everyone that is a scenario. It has not been confirmed completely."

He refused to say what other scenarios might be under investigation, explaining that would be speculation. He also said police believe there were no shooters at large.

No other people were injured.

"The investigation has taken quite a tragic turn," Davis said. "The words heartbreak and shock are just not adequate when you lose one of your own.'

Davis said there was a lot of confusion when officers first responded and numerous shots were fired. He said the three men were taken into custody and were outside the home when more gunfire erupted and the officer was killed.

Along with Lakewood police, at least four other agencies responded to the initial report, including officers from Denver, Edgewater and Arvada, and deputies with the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.

Some of the officers were in the area investigating a complaint of a prowler.

Davis said there were several pit bulls in the home that complicated the situation.

Davis said handguns were recovered from the home. He did not know if the officer who was killed had fired his weapon or was working undercover.

The officer was the first killed in the line of duty since the Lakewood Police Department was founded in 1969. He was in his 30s but his name was withheld pending notification of relatives.