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Police: Deputy Was Killed With Own Gun

Police: Deputy Was Killed With Own Gun

Deputy Sam Brownlee | Ruben Reyes

Associated Press

November 26, 2010

EVANS – Two guns went off in the shootout Tuesday in Evans, but neither belonged to the suspect, according to police.

Greeley Police say Reuben Reyes, 20, managed to grab the gun of Weld County Deputy Sam Brownlee, 43, during a scuffle. They say Reyes then shot Brownlee three times.

Police say an Evans Police officer then shot Reyes. Both men died at the same hospital.

Family and friends of Brownlee mourned his loss.

“I’m going to miss his smile, his whole personality and attitude,” said Weld County Sheriff John Cook. “I’ve never heard that man say a bad word about anybody.”

9NEWS also spoke with Reyes’s family Wednesday.

“(The family of Reuben Reyes) sends very deep condolences to the officer’s family,” said Jan Villa, a family friend.

Villa says it is likely Reyes led police on the hour-long police chase from Fort Morgan to Evans because he wanted to get to his mother’s house, which was just a block away from the scene of the shooting.

Reyes’ grandmother also offered a few words.

“He was a good grandson to me, never said anything disrespectful and just because he done what he done, that don’t make me love him any less,” Elba Palma said.

Villa says Reyes worked a plant in Fort Morgan to support his girlfriend and two young children.

“I think everybody some point in their life might have some problems, get in trouble, but that doesn’t make them a bad person,” Villa said.

Police say Reyes had a history of serious traffic violations and a tie to gangs. Reyes’s family said he broke those ties a long time ago.

Brownlee leaves behind a wife, two children and two step-children. That loss leaves Cook with little sympathy for Reyes.

“He could have cooperated, he could have come out peacefully, but he chose not to do that, and in my mind and every officer here, he’s a monster,” Cook said.

Police are still trying to nail down the details that sparked the chase. At this point, they say shortly after a woman in Fort Morgan called in a stolen car, Reyes was seen driving that vehicle.

Meanwhile, 9NEWS found out the sheriff’s offices in both Weld and Morgan counties have similar policies when it comes to chasing down a suspect. Both let the officers on the scene evaluate the conditions like traffic and make the call whether to pursue.

Funeral arrangements are currently being made for Brownlee. Cook says a memorial service will be on Monday morning at the University of Northern Colorado.

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