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Weld County deputy, suspect both killed in shootout

10:22 PM, Nov 23, 2010   |    comments
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The Weld County Coroner confirmed the Weld County Sheriff's deputy was killed Tuesday. 9NEWS has identified him as 43-year-old Sam Brownlee.

The Weld County Sheriff's Office has also confirmed that the suspect, 20-year-old Rueben Reyes, was killed in the shootout.

Fort Morgan Police say it began at 9:40 a.m. when a woman reported her black 2006 Nissan Altima stolen. Police put out a "be on the lookout" alert on the vehicle, which was believed to be headed west out of Fort Morgan.

Fort Morgan Police say they tried to pull Reyes over, but he did not comply. They decided not to chase him, but issued the bulletin. Later, police say they discovered a domestic assault had allegedly happened when they went to the woman's home.

A short time later, Wiggins Police spotted the vehicle at Interstate 76 and Highway 34 where a high-speed chase ensued. Speeds during the chase reached 100 mph.

The chase came to an end at Coyote and Cedar Lanes in Evans around 11 a.m. At that time, Brownlee chased Reyes on foot and was shot. After being hit, Brownlee returned fire.

Witnesses say there was a flurry of shots as officers swarmed the black Nissan.

Greeley Police spokesman Joe Tymkowich said Reyes was wounded and was undergoing surgery Tuesday afternoon. The Weld County Sheriff's Office later confirmed that he died at North Colorado Medical Center.

The Colorado State Patrol, Greeley Police Department, Weld County Sheriff's Office, Evans Police Department and LaSalle Police Department all responded to the scene.

Brownlee had been with the Weld County Sheriff's Department for five years. He married his wife in June 2009.

In May 2008, Brownlee was one of the first officers on scene after the Windsor tornado, and searched for survivors inside toppled homes.

Weld County Sheriff John Cooke released a statement about Brownlee.

"He was one of the nicest, most respected guys I know," Cooke said. "A great deputy and this is such a tragic loss."

The Denver Post reports this is the first time a Weld County Sheriff's deputy has been killed in the line of duty in 70 years.

Reyes was arrested for driving without a license in October. He was also arrested for hitting a pedestrian.

(KUSA-TV © 2010 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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