Arvada, Colorado, police officer killed while responding to a disturbance


An Arvada, Colorado, police officer was killed while responding to a disturbance early Sunday, Police Chief Link Strate said.

Dillon Michael Vakoff, 27, was “killed serving his community,” Arvada police said.

Vakoff and another officer responded to a scene with a “large family disturbance,” Strate said at a news conference, and the two “arrived to a chaotic scene with multiple people in the street.”

“The initial two officers tried to separate several belligerent and uncooperative individuals when the suspect began to fire and shot a female victim,” Strate said. Gunfire between a suspect and police ensued, and both Vakoff and the suspect were shot.

The other officer on the scene tried to help Vakoff but was ultimately unsuccessful. Vakoff was transported to a hospital where he later died.

The suspect was transported to a hospital where he remains in police custody and is expected to survive, Strate said.

The female victim was also transported to a hospital and is expected to survive, police added. Her involvement in the incident is unknown at this time, he said.

“This is an ongoing active investigation and the information we have at this time is preliminary,” Strate said. “But in an effort to be transparent with our community, we wanted to provide you with some details from this morning’s incident and line of duty-death.”

Strate said Vakoff had been with the department since 2019 and was a former staff sergeant in the US Air Force.

He was, Chief Strate said, “an example of everything that is good about a police officer. He was training towards becoming a SWAT officer, and without a doubt, would have continued to have a positive impact on his community.”

“This is a tragic loss to this community, to this department, but most significantly to his family and loved ones,” Strate said. “His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”

Arvada, Colorado, is roughly 10 miles northwest of Denver.

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