Resident describes a ‘horrible’ scene | AspenTimes.com

Resident describes a ‘horrible’ scene

Dennis Webb
Glenwood Springs correspondent

The crew climbs out of a National Guard helicopter after flying over the Rifle and Silt area in search of Steven Appl, the suspect in Tuesday night's shooting of State Trooper Brian Koch. (Kara K. Pearson/Post Independent)

SILT ” Nanci Limbach did­n’t think too much about it when she realized there was some kind of commotion not far from her house on County Road 346 late Tuesday night.

She has seen a lot of car acci­dents in the area because of a sharp dogleg in the road, which runs from Rifle to Silt, south of Interstate 70. And because there were police lights flashing, she assumed the situation was under control.

It was only when she later opened her front door and heard screams that turned out to be those of an injured police officer that she realized her help was needed.

Limbach and her husband, Paul, rushed to the scene, where they found a state trooper, later identi­fied as Brian Koch, who had been shot.

Limbach said she and her hus­band never heard any distinct gun­shots from inside the thick stone walls of their home, although there was a banging noise they assumed their dog had made. She regrets that she didn’t respond to the shooting sooner. Koch was screaming in pain from his injuries.

“It was horrible. I mean, his arm was shattered by the bullet,” she said. The Limbachs helped tend to Koch, but Nanci gives most of the credit to another man who had been driving by the scene and stopped to provide the initial response. The man used a belt to help secure a bandage on Koch’s arm and called authorities on a cell phone.

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” That guy deserves a lot of kudos,” she said.

She didn’t know the name of the man, whom, she said, was accom­panied by a young boy. Limbach said Koch didn’t talk about the events leading up to the shooting ” he was in too much pain to say much of anything.

” I guess the guy was speeding or something, and he went to stop him and the guy shot at him and he shot back.

“… I’m just glad the officer is OK. That was my big concern.”

Limbach runs a wildlife rehabili­tation center on her property. Road­blocks resulting from the hunt for the shooting suspect ” later identi­fied as Steven Joseph Appl ” forced her to cancel a wildlife pro­gram that was to have been attend­ed by 30 or 35 people Wednesday morning.

Residents in the area of the man­hunt had been advised to stay indoors, but Limbach wasn’t wor­ried, considering all the police that responded to the scene.

But the shooting outside her home is another sign of how life has changed along her road.

” We’re no longer out in the boonies,” she said.