Sheriff John Cooke told the Greeley Tribune that Deputy Sam Brownlee was shot during a struggle with suspected car thief Reuben Reyes. He said that after Reyes' car was stopped, Brownlee and Reyes were wrestling on the ground and Reyes got the deputy's gun and shot him three times.
Reyes was shot by an Evans police officer at the scene and later died.
Brownlee was 43 and leaves a wife, two children and two stepchildren.
He's the first Weld County deputy to be killed in 70 years.
Reyes was sentenced earlier this year to 90 days in jail in a felony menacing case. Court records also show he has a history of driving-related offenses.
A memorial is planned for Monday morning in Butler-Hancock Hall on the University of Northern Colorado campus.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)