A Colorado sheriff’s deputy who was under attack by robbers likely owes his life to a one-in-a-billion shot he fired at one of the suspects.
Incredibly, the bullet went down the barrel of the suspect’s gun and rendered the weapon temporarily inoperable, according to the Denver Channel.
On Wednesday, Jefferson County sheriff’s deputy Jose Marquez was officially cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting, which happened in January during his off-duty hours.
Marquez stepped outside his girlfriend’s apartment in Arapahoe County that day to get something from his car. As he walked back, two young men with face masks told him to “give it up,” and at least one of them pulled out a pistol, according to the Aurora Sentinel.
Marquez, a 10-year veteran of the department, was shot in the chest and abdomen multiple times before one of the suspects ran away. But he managed to open fire and shoot the other suspect, Jhalil Meshesha, in the leg.
Another bullet from Marquez’s .45-caliber handgun went straight into the barrel of Meshesha’s pistol.
“It ... actually hit Meshesha’s .40-caliber handgun and traveled down the barrel, colliding with a cartridge that was in the chamber of the gun,” according to a letter written by Arapahoe County Deputy District Attorney Rich Orman to Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader and Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz.
Matt Ingui, the investigating detective, described the shot as a “one in a billion thing,” according to KDVR.com.
Prosecutors said Marquez acted appropriately when, believing his life to be in danger, he shot his gun. He will not be charged in the shooting, according to the Denver Channel.
The bullets that hit Marquez damaged his intestines, colon and liver and caused fractured ribs. Although he is currently not on duty, sheriff’s spokesman Mark Techmeyer told the Denver Post that the department is “still hopeful for a full recovery.”