Update: We recently reported that Commerce City Police Department Officer Kevin Lord had been arrested for allegedly making up a story about him being shot by a motorist — a development that raised suspicions Lord had actually fired a bullet into his own ballistic vest. See our previous coverage below.
Now, a report has surfaced suggesting that Lord may have phonied up at least one and perhaps two previous tales about on-the-job injuries — and collected more than $15,000 in pay during time he was supposedly recovering.
The information comes from CBS4, which cites police documents and numerous knowledgeable sources in its reporting about the new accusations.
The first incident is said to have taken place on July 3, 2013, at a home under construction near 96th Avenue and Nucla Street.
On that date, Lord claimed he saw someone cutting electrical wires at a home under construction and maintained that the suspect hit him twice in the head before splitting.
A pair of wire cutters were found at the scene, and some wires had indeed been sliced. And while another officer on the scene didn't see the suspect or the attack, Lord had apparent bruising on his head.
An alert subsequently went out for a white male in his twenties, based on Lord's description. But the man was never found.
In the meantime, Lord went on injury leave, collecting nearly $11,000 for the 38 days he was laid up — and he was also awarded a departmental Purple Heart.
The following year, Lord took another seventeen days of injury leave, for which he was paid just shy of $5,000.
The details of the latter scenario weren't immediately available, but in light of the apparently bogus shooting, both incidents are being examined with greater scrutiny — and numerous departmental sources who spoke anonymously to CBS4 say they doubted Lord's veracity after the 2013 incident.
Their suspicions have only grown in recent days, and understandably so. Continue for our previous coverage.
Original post, 7:27 a.m. November 16: In a matter of days, Commerce City Police Officer Kevin Lord has gone from being an object of sympathy to a professional pariah.
Why? His superiors at the Commerce City Police Department say that Lord — an eight-year veteran of the CCPD with more than twenty years of law-enforcement experience — faked his shooting by a motorist, during which he allegedly took a bullet in his ballistic vest.
Indeed, the suspected gunman, whose sketch was circulated by media organizations like this one, appears to be a work of fiction.
And while the case is sealed at this writing, the latest developments imply that Lord, who has been arrested on charges related to phonying up the incident, may have shot himself, then pretended to be a victim of a cold-blooded attack.
At about 7:10 a.m. on Sunday, November 8, as we reported, Lord claimed to have contacted a male driver on the 9700 block of Peoria Street during what's described as a "proactive patrol of problem areas in his district."
The initial CCPD release suggested that Lord and the suspect spoke.
However, reports subsequently maintained that Lord was simply approaching the vehicle when he was shot without any apparent provocation.
Afterward, the Commerce City department shared the Lord portrait seen at the top of this post, as well as the following statement from his family:
"Words cannot begin to express the outpouring of love, prayers and support we have felt from the law enforcement community and the community at large. Kevin is a fighter and our family is focused on his recovery. At this time, we ask the media and public to respect our privacy and focus on the one thing that matters: catching the suspect and bringing him to justice."
Additionally, a "Blue Alert" was issued for the suspect's vehicle, a late-90’s maroon Nissan Pathfinder, with possible Colorado license plate of 679UNZ or 697UNZ.
As for the suspect himself, he was described as a "white male in his late 40s/early 50s, with brown hair, thin build, wearing glasses and a black and white scarf around his neck."
Here's a look at the police sketch made from Lord's description:
If, upon seeing the sketch, you thought the man it depicted looked more like a Batman villain than an actual person, you won't be surprised by what happened next.
The investigation last week turned up no signs of the suspect or the Pathfinder — but it did convince CCPD personnel that Lord had concocted the entire scenario.
Appearing at a news conference late Friday, November 13, Commerce City Police Chief Troy Smith stressed that there was no armed gunman on the loose.
He also expressed disappointment at the turn the case had taken.
In the meantime, Lord was arrested for trying to influence a public official and false reporting.
Beyond that, no details about the case have been released.
Until they are, we won't know for certain if police believe Lord shot himself or what apparently motivated his actions.
The good news: There's no need for you to fear men in black-and-white scarfs.
Look below to see a larger version of Lord's booking photo, followed by a Fox31 report about the latest developments.