On August 7, 2022, at approximately 5:07 PM, a 911 call was transferred from Fort Carson to the El Paso County Sheriff's Office (EPSO) Communications Center. The caller reported a shooting in the 500 Block of Ponderosa Drive. This location is in Security-Widefield, which is an unincorporated community within El Paso County. There were additional 911 calls from citizens reporting hearing gunshots in the same area.
Two EPSO patrol deputies and a Fountain Police Department (FPD) officer responded. Upon arrival they encountered gunfire from the suspect, 33-year-old John Paz. One of the EPSO deputies, 39-year-old Andrew Peery, was struck and gravely injured. Deputies were able to return fire and, once additional personnel arrived, they immediately began lifesaving measures on Deputy Peery. Deputy Peery was transported via ambulance to an area hospital; however, he succumbed to his injuries.
While at the scene, deputies and officers located a deceased adult female in the front yard of a residence in the 500 block of Ponderosa Drive. Detectives from the Colorado Springs Police Department’s (CSPD) Homicide/Assault Unit obtained a search warrant for this residence and the CSPD Tactical Enforcement Unit (TEU) subsequently entered the home. TEU found John Paz deceased inside, due to an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound.
While the El Paso County Coroner’s Office will make the official cause and manner of death determinations for all three individuals, the deaths of Deputy Peery and the adult female are being investigated as homicides committed by John Paz.
In accordance with Colorado Revised Statute 16-2.5-301, the Colorado Springs Police Department is the lead investigative agency for the officer-involved shooting. CSPD will also take lead investigative responsibilities for the homicide investigations of Deputy Peery and the adult female. The EPSO deputy identified as having fired a weapon has been placed on administrative leave per their department policies. No Fountain Police Department or CSPD officers fired a weapon during this incident.
The deputy involved in this incident is Deputy Dan Carey. Deputy Carey has been employed with EPSO since 2018 and is assigned to the Patrol Division.
Any further updates or information on this case will only come from the Colorado Springs Police Department.