Manhunt under way for shooting suspect |

Manhunt under way for shooting suspect

Garfield County Sheriff's Deputies Brent Baker, right, and Smokey Torres stop drivers at a roadblock on Dry Hollow Road near Silt this morning after a Colorado State Patrolman was shot Tuesday night.

Authorities have set up roadblocks in a manhunt for the individual who shot and injured a Colorado State Patrol trooper Tuesday night near Rifle.

The trooper was reported in good condition this morning after surgery. Meanwhile, motorists on Interstate 70 have experienced long delays at roadblocks today as authorities search for his assailant.

Patrol spokesman Trooper Eric Wynn said doctors at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction operated on Brian Koch.

During a 1 p.m. press conference at the Garfield County Courthouse, State Patrol Capt. Richard Duran said that Koch has been with the Glenwood Springs office of the Colorado State Patrol for five years. No other personal information on Koch was released.

Authorities, some armed wth assault rifles, are conducting an intensive search for the suspect. One eastbound motorist on Interstate 70 reported a two-hour delay in Glenwood Canyon, east of Glenwood Springs, this morning, as vehicles were stopped and checked at a roadblock just beyond the canyon.

“They asked if you’d picked anybody up and if you’d seen anybody hitchhiking on the road,” she told The Aspen Times.

According to reports, the trooper was shot on County Road 346 at about 11:20 p.m. while on patrol. The suspect fled the scene in a car and was reportedly heading toward Silt, where he abandoned the vehicle.

The car was located shortly after the incident and has been taken by police, said Silt Police Chief Paul Taylor.

The injured officer was able to radio for help and was taken by ambulance to Grand River Medical Center in Rifle and then transferred to St. Mary’s in Grand Junction.

Garfield County Sheriff’s Deputy Tanny McGinnis said deputies have set up roadblocks, including one on Interstate 70 near Rifle and the one east of Glenwood Springs, and were reviewing a flood of tips from the public on the whereabouts of the suspect.

Law enforcement agencies, including the Rifle, Silt and New Castle police departments, State Patrol, Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation are searching for the suspect, who is described as a white male, 6-foot-1, 160 pounds with blond hair.

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