The scene at Jugz Sports Tavern should have been celebratory last night. After all, the bar caters to Broncos fans, and earlier in the day, Denver defeated Tampa Bay for the team's seventh straight victory. But that was before two police officers confronted Marcus Ray Martinez, a 27-year-old car theft suspect who allegedly shot one of the cops before firing a bullet at his own head.
Would Wheat Ridge Police Department Division Commander Jim Lorentz, who's serving as public information officer for the incident, characterize Martinez's second shot as a suicide attempt? "That would be my interpretation," he says.
Here's how Lorentz describes the events of last night, which involved the police department from Mountain View, a small community in Jefferson County.
"The officers of Mountain View got a call from a citizen, who said there was a suspect of auto theft in the bar," Lorentz says. "The officer got back-up from an officer from Lakeside and they found the person," subsequently described as Martinez, "and they determined that he was the right suspect."
At that point, Lorentz goes on, "the officers contacted him and said they were going to pat him down for weapons. But he pushed away and said he had a gun" -- something he proved seconds later by drawing the weapon and firing at the cops.
The officer from Mountain View was struck in the leg. But then, before either of the cops could return fire, "he turned the gun on himself," Lorentz says.
The wound suffered by the officer was not life-threatening -- but that didn't prevent his fellows in the Mountain View PD from rallying around him. "It's a small department," Lorentz points out. "I believe they have eleven or twelve officers, so it's a pretty tight group. And I believe all of them were out there last night."
As for Martinez, Lorentz says the last report he's heard lists his condition as serious. "I know he's going into surgery today," he maintains.
Charges against Martinez are pending. Likely prospects include assault on a peace officer and attempted murder -- not to mention possible accusations in regard to the car theft beef that attracted police attention in the first place.
Look below to see a previous mug shot of Martinez.
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