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Shot Colorado Trooper Improving, Faces More Surgery

May 09, 2014  | 

Trooper Eugene Hofacker (Photo: Colorado State Patrol)
Trooper Eugene Hofacker (Photo: Colorado State Patrol)

A Colorado State Patrol trooper who was shot while helping a motorist Thursday was awake and in “good spirits” Friday morning.

According to a Facebook post, Trooper Eugene Hofacker, will need additional surgery.

Hofacker and another trooper were traveling to a training when they stopped to help a motorist on the side of the road Thursday morning. As Hofacker approached the car, the driver shot him.

Hofacker’s partner returned fire, killing the driver.

The Department of Corrections said the shooter was Thomas Ornelas.

Family members of Ornelas told FOX31 Denver he has a long and violent criminal history.

Hofacker is a six-year veteran of the Patrol and is based in Vail. He has a girlfriend who was with him in the hospital, CSP spokesman Scott Hernandez said.

At the time of the shooting Ornelas was free on a $75,000 bond in an attempted second-degree murder case.

Tags: Colorado State Patrol, Assaults on Officers


Comments (10)

Displaying 1 - 10 of 10

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/9/2014 5:27 PM

The Officer was doing the right thing by stopping and it was tragic the way the events unfolded. Most of the time however this is more than a simple act of kindness but it is a wealth of good will for your agency to help stranded motorists whether they are in your jurisdiction or not. It really bugs me to see cops driving by stranded motorists and not offering to call the correct agency or stopping to at least check on the stranded motorist. And yeah I know if they act on it or not.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/9/2014 5:28 PM

Get well soon but until then we have your back. You did good!

Missouri Cop @ 5/10/2014 9:36 AM

This trooper and his partner were fired upon by a guy who should have been still locked up for a previous murder. The judge who allowed him to post pond should visit the almost-killed trooper in the hospital to apologize for using poor judgment, IMHO.

Big MOE @ 5/10/2014 10:52 AM

Unfortunately this is to common and a big disgrace. SOB's walking around free while waiting to be tried murder charges plus. spend very little time in jail, and nothing but plea bargins. And of course all these poor liberal polticians that believe that the death penalty is bad. I agree that Judge should get the boot for making bad calls and putting S--t heads like that on the street. One thing good came out of this, The SOB is dead on arrivel he's gone! I pray you recover my Brother at arms.

Troop @ 5/10/2014 12:37 PM

Shame on the judge that let a man with a violent past out on 75k bond for ATTEMPT MURDER! This judge has the Troopers blood on his or her hands!

TheRookie @ 5/10/2014 3:22 PM

Typical SOP these days that seeps down from the AG With-Holder @ Dep. of No-Justice. When there are liberal judges in place who want to give 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, & on & on & on more chances L.E., anyone with any type of badge/uniform as well as citizens are endangered. Put these people away. Way away.

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/10/2014 9:24 PM

It sure didn't take long for bloggers to miss the point and degrade to personal political agendas. This was a Trooper doing a great job. I find this trooper to be a highly ethical individual. Also his partner did a great job covering his partner.

CPD TN Officer @ 5/11/2014 12:03 AM

No one missed the point, we see it clearly. It's just beyond frustrating to lose or nearly lose a brother to a violent criminal that would have been incapable of his actions had he remained in custody as he should have been. We are thankful he is still in the fight and that his partner was able to act and do what the system could not.

KevCopAz @ 5/11/2014 3:34 PM

I am sorry for the offer and his family, hope he gets well soon. I am NOT surprised that this took place in Colorado. They legalize pot for anyone who cares to smoke it, they have judges that make spastic rulings in many recent cases, disregarding citizens safety for the sake of scumbags. This defendant should never have been out on ANY bond, let alone a small one posted. I would bet my paycheck that the suspect was a repeat offender and if Co. had real laws and real judges he would never have been out. I hope you know that you are partially responsible "your honor". Live with it you liberal putz! My heart goes out for my Law Enforcement brothers and sisters it the state of CO since your are in one of the dumbest sates we have and your citizens deserve better, instead of the deaths that will surely come due to the legalization of pot. DOJ should raid every pot dealer, pot bank and take everything the business and owners have under RICO> Thats would stop it, but wow we have the ,

Ima Leprechaun @ 5/17/2014 3:43 PM

CPD TN want to rethink your answer now.

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