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Suspect charged in Arvada police officer’s death

ARVADA, Colo. (KRDO) -- The man accused of killing an Arvada police officer and injuring another person in a shooting on Sept. 11 has been charged, the First Judicial District Attorney's Office told 9NEWS.

Charges were filed against 31-year-old Sonny Almanza in connection with the death of Arvada Police Officer Dillon Vakoff, 27.

Almanza is now facing the following charges:

  • Three courts of first-degree murder
  • Two counts of attempted murder
  • One count of second-degree assault
  • One count of possession of a weapon by a previous offender
  • One county of large-capacity magazine prohibited - during crime
  • One count of first-degree trespassing
  • Two crime-of-violence sentence enhancers

On Sept. 11, Officer Vakoff and another officer responded to a family disturbance near Inspiration Point Park around 1:45 p.m., according to Arvada Police Department.

When officers responded, they arrived to a "chaotic scene with multiple people in the street."

While trying to separate "several belligerent and uncooperative individuals," Arvada Police said the suspect began to fire, hitting a female victim.

An exchange of gunfire happened between the two officers and the suspect. That's when 27-year-old Officer Vakoff was hit.

Police said Officer Vakoff was declared deceased after he was taken to the hospital.

Arvada Police Department's statement on the fallen officer:

Dillion is an example of everything good you would want in a police officer. He was training toward being a SWAT Officer, and without a doubt would have continued to have a positive impact on his community.

Arvada Police Department

Tuesday, Almanza will appear back in court.

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