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Deputy, Suspected Car Thief Killed In Shootout

Deputy, Suspected Car Thief Killed In Shootout

Deputy Sam Brownlee | Ruben Reyes

The Denver Post via YellowBrix

November 24, 2010

EVANS, CO – The investigation into Tuesday’s high-speed police chase and fatal shootout will be exhaustive in the wake of the first death in the line of duty for a Weld County sheriff’s deputy in 70 years, authorities said.

Deputy Sam Brownlee, 43, was killed, as was suspected car thief Ruben Reyes, 20, of Fort Morgan.

The deadly confrontation between Reyes and three officers — Brownlee, another Weld County deputy and an Evans police officer — took place in an Evans neighborhood.

“We have 12 detectives working this today, and they’ll be working through the night,” Sgt. Joe Tymkowych, spokesman for the Greeley Police Department, said Tuesday. “We’re going to take this case from the beginning and investigate it all the way through.”

Greeley is in charge of the case because of the involvement of Weld County and Evans officers.

Brownlee died instantly. Reyes died about five hours later at North Colorado Medical Center in Greeley.

Reyes was on probation after agreeing last year to plead guilty to felony menacing in Morgan County. Also, records show that he had been sentenced to 90 days in jail after originally facing assault causing serious bodily injury and other charges that were dismissed.

While free on bail, he was arrested in May 2009 and charged with driving with a suspended license. He was charged with the same offense in Fort Morgan last month. Also, Reyes had several traffic offenses on his record, including drunken driving.

Brownlee, of Greeley, was a five-year veteran of the Weld County Sheriff’s Office, the Greeley Tribune reported.

“He was one of the nicest, most respected guys I know,” Weld County Sheriff John Cooke told the newspaper. “A great deputy, and this is such a tragic loss.”

The incident began in Fort Morgan at 9:45 a.m., when a woman reported that a man she knows had stolen her car.

A Morgan County deputy and a Wiggins police officer spotted the car a short time later on U.S. 34 near Morgan County Road 4.

A Weld County deputy joined the chase when it crossed the county line. The chase wound through Greeley and ended in Evans.

“Stop sticks” put down by the Colorado State Patrol had punctured the tires of the car Reyes was driving, bringing the chase to a close in the Cave Creek neighborhood, where two Weld County deputies and an Evans police officer ordered the suspect out of the car, Tymkowych said.

“There was a confrontation,” he said. “Shots were fired.”

He did not know how many shots were fired by either Reyes or the officers.

Christina Goss told the Tribune she heard a gunshot and saw Brownlee fall.

Another officer then covered the injured colleague with his body while others returned fire until the suspect was down.

Sheila White had been hanging holiday lights on her home when she saw a black car with a flat tire race up her street with police and sheriff cruisers in pursuit.

She said officers blocked in the car that Reyes was driving and got out with weapons drawn, yelling at the suspect to get out.

White took her dog inside her home. While inside, she heard several gunshots.

When she stepped back outside, she saw officers doing CPR on the deputy now identified as Brownlee. She could not see the suspect.

White said that before she went back inside her house, a gray pickup truck drove up and two women in their late 20s to early 30s jumped out screaming, “No! No! No!”

Police ushered the women back to the truck. White said one of them sat sobbing inside the vehicle. “My heart is breaking for his family,” White said of the deputy.

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP Sam. I think of you each and every day, and miss you terribly. Our WCSO family is still hurting, but we will make it through this knowing that you are up there guiding us through it all. Love you!

  • Vegas-1-28-2011__51__max50


    over 3 years ago


    Thank you for your service thank you for your sacrifice

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    over 3 years ago


    RIP brother

  • Uniphone1_max50


    over 3 years ago


    Rest in Peace Brother....Thank you for being in the fight. God Bless!

    "Stay in the Fight"

  • Sfa_iv_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Job 1:21, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."


  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


  • Newpatch_sq90_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Today was a very sad day in Colorado.

  • Screen_shot_2011-04-10_at_8


    almost 4 years ago


    RIP Deputy Brownlee. I pray for your family and department to find the strength they will need to get through this difficult time. I pray GOD gives you the strength and courage to continue on in this life and always honor Sam's memory.

    Now I beg PL to please take down the POS's picture, for we do not care what his sorry ass looks like. We are here as officers to honor our fellow brothers and sisters in the LE community. If you give the POS a face, it is like giving him credit for his actions. Just my opinion and request.

  • 375956_401447159923274_1109023972_n_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    My thoughts and prayers go out to the family, friends, and co-workers of Deputy Sam Brownlee.

    May they find solace knowing that he is in a better place.

    R.I.P. Deputy Brownlee

    "In The Line of Duty"

    What is the meaning of "In The Line Of Duty"
    It means that an officer made the Ultimate sacrifice.
    It means that someone took an officer's life.
    A hero has fallen.

    Officers who gave their all
    To protect and serve
    Have been killed by someone whom they swore
    To protect and serve.

    It means that their badge will no longer be on their chest
    And they will join
    "The Best Of The Best"

    It means that family and friends are left behind
    To deal with the lost of a loved one.
    Only having the memories of that loved one
    Close to their hearts.
    Something no one can ever take away.

    It means that family members will stand at the officers grave
    And wonder why ...
    Why would someone take an officer's life
    And leave them there to die?
    If we only knew.

    Today an officer will place their badge on their chest
    To fulfill the dreams of heroes killed
    "In The Line Of Duty"



  • Me_max50


    almost 4 years ago



  • shadow_officer

    almost 4 years ago



  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago


    RIP My Brother

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago

    HEYSARGE made the following comments in reference to a 15 year old Asian boy, Henry Dang, who was killed by an off duty officer. Witnesses said the officer had been drinking all day and there is allegations responding officers, including the off duty officers own father, hindered the investigation of one of their own.
    Here is HEYSARGE's comments

    "Another one sided story......This is what I would like to know:

    1. Who caused the accident? ( Just because they allege speed and drunk driving does not mean this is the causation of the accident )
    2. Why was the 15 yr old riding his bike at midnight ?
    3. Was he wearing a helmet if required?
    4. Did the bicyclist leave a point of safety into the path of the vehicle?
    5. Did the bicyclist have a front facing head light?
    6. Did the bicyclist have all the require rereflector for proper night operation ?
    7. What was the bicyclist conduct prior to the accident, what had he been doing? Drugs or alcohol on board?
    8. What's the parent's responsibility for not having proper supervision and having their son on a bicycle at midnight?
    I guess I could go on but won't, I guess the media just is happy as a lark to bash an off duty police officer!!
    I'm not saying the off duty officer should not take responsibility for what ever actions that contributed to this tragic loss of life but I'm just tired of a one sided story................Gee"

    I noticed these comments about policelink after the following story FYI

    You know some of your policelink members have a rep for making really hateful comments...You guys should really clean it up. Dumping HEYSARGE would be a good start

    This email is just my opinion

  • Photo_user_blank_big


    almost 4 years ago



  • Funny_cat_picture015_max50


    almost 4 years ago


    Rest in Peace Deputy Brownlee.

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