An incredibly well-placed shot by a sheriff’s deputy in Aurora, Colorado, may have saved his life after an attempted robbery earlier this year. New details about the case were released recently that revealed an extraordinary set of circumstances, and a shot that nearly defies belief. According to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, deputy Jose Marquez was in the parking lot of his girlfriend’s condo, in plain clothes, when he was approached by two masked men who attempted to rob him back in January. As one of the men revealed his weapon, Marquez drew his own gun as well, but not before receiving two gunshots in the abdomen and shoulder, fracturing a rib and causing internal organ damage. The deputy returned fire, striking one of the suspects in the leg, and miraculously, also sent a bullet straight through the barrel of the suspect’s handgun, putting it out of commission. Not only that, but the bullet actually traveled up the barrel of the handgun to impact a cartridge still in the chamber.
“This collision rendered the .40 caliber pistol temporarily inoperable,” stated the district attorney’s office in its investigation.
ABC 7 reported that Marquez fell unconscious shortly afterwards, but not before both of the suspects had fled.
“I’m not dying today. Not today. Any other day, maybe. It’s not my time yet,” the deputy later told investigators, who found that the shooting was justified in self defense.
Investigators also found that the suspects had fired upwards of 12 shots, while Marquez squeezed off four in the close-range encounter. One of the suspects, Jahlil Meshesha, was arrested in connection with the crime and charged with multiple felonies, including attempted murder, assault, and felony menacing. He was shot in the leg during the encounter.
According to the Denver Post, police found a black mask, firearm, and stolen car in a nearby lot that was associated with Meshesha. Officials are currently tracking down the identity of the second suspect believed to be involved in the attack, but have not released any names.
Authorities say they do not believe that Marquez was specifically targeted because of his role as a police officer. The recent and tragic killings of law enforcement in Dallas and Baton Rouge highlighted just how much danger officers are in on a daily basis. Not to mention that current tensions and protests against what some call “systemic police brutality” have some officers on edge. Investigators say that there were no credible threats against Marquez at the time of the shooting.
“He has received no threats from anyone and has had no recent issues with anyone, personally or professionally, that (could) be linked to this shooting,” investigators concluded. “He had no road rage incidents and had never seen the two males before.”