ARVADA, Colo. (NewsNation) — A police officer in the Colorado city of Arvada was killed during a shooting as officers were trying to break up a large family disturbance, the Arvada Police Department said Sunday.
Officer Dillon Michael Vakoff, 27, and another officer were trying to separate “several belligerent and uncooperative individuals” early Sunday when the suspect shot a female victim, police said in a statement. The officers and the suspect exchanged gunfire.
Vakoff was declared dead at a hospital.
The suspect and another person injured in the shooting were hospitalized and are expected to survive, police said.
Vakoff was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Air Force, where he served for six years before joining the Arvada Police Department in 2019. He was training to be a SWAT officer, police said in a statement. Vakoff graduated from high school in Arvada in 2012.
“This is a tragic loss to this community, to this department, but most significantly to his family and loved ones,” the police department said in a social media post. “His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”