A police officer died after he fell 40 feet while on the clock, his colleagues have confirmed.
Julian Becerra, 35, had been tracking down a carjacking suspect and became embroiled in a chase when he fell from a bridge and was critically injured in the incident.
Becerra left behind a wife and two children – an eight-year-old daughter and a one-year-old son – and had previously served in the US Air Force before joining the Fountain Police Department around four years ago.
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"We appreciate the public’s outpouring of support over the past week for Officer Becerra, his family and the Fountain Police Department," spokesperson Lisa Schneider said in a statement.
Becerra became involved in the car chase after officers were called to help track down three carjacking suspects around 4pm local time on February 2.
Several pursuits in the area followed and at one point the suspects allegedly tried to steal another car before officers were able to disable their vehicle around 8pm, Fountain Police Commander Mark Cristiani said.
When the driver fled the car, Becerra chased after them and fell from the bridge into a riverbed and was rushed to hospital for treatment, where he was placed on life support on Friday (February 10) surrounded by loved ones.
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Becerra’s brother-in-law, David Alderman, described him as "just a fantastic guy" just days before he died.
"I’ve actually gotten to learn a lot from him as a dad, and a great husband as well, just always there for his family, and never complaining," Alderman told Denver 7.
Becerra's body was moved from the hospital to the El Paso County Coroner's Office on Saturday (February 11) by a procession, and in a statement on Sunday Fountain Mayor Sharon Thompson said his town is "heartbroken" over Becerra’s death.
“Fountain will forever be grateful for the selfless service and bravery of Officer Julian Becerra, and we are so proud and thankful for all our police officers and first responders who keep our community safe every day,” Thompson said.
The driver Becerra was chasing reportedly tried to jump off the bridge, but officers managed to grab him before he fell over.
Suspects Devon Bobian, 31, Danisha Pacheco, 28 and Anthony Vallejos, 37, were arrested in connection to the car chase, according to police.
Bobian and Vallejos have both been taken into custody on multiple active felony warrants and multiple felony charges following the chase.
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