11 News spoke with Montrose Police Department Chief Tom Chinn about this weekend's tragic shooting that claimed the life of one officer and wounded two others.
Chinn says slain Sgt. David Kinterknecht spent a great deal of time at the police department as a child and that it was his life's dream to become a police officer or a firefighter. The chief says Kinterknecht was involved in the Cadet Program in the 1980s.
"We were happy to have him for the time we had him," Chinn told 11 News. "This is truly a loss to the department, his family and the community." Chinn says counselors, including a specialist from the Front Range, are helping Kinterknecht's co-workers cope with their loss.
Chinn also spoke about Officers Larry Witte and Rodney Ragsdale, the others wounded in Saturday's shooting, "They're all heroes. All police officers in a situation like this have to be heroes to even to do this type of work."
According to the City of Montrose Web site, Kinterknecht had a total of 19 years of service in law enforcement and was hired as a patrol officer for the MPD in December 1996. He was promoted to sergeant in November 2003. During his service with the MPD he received numerous awards and commendations, including a Life Saving Award in 1999 and a Medal of Meritorious Service in 2001. More importantly, he earned the respect and friendship of those who served alongside him.
The Montrose City Council and city staff say on the Web site they're extending their heartfelt condolences to the Kinterknecht family for their tremendous loss.
Funeral arrangements will be posted to the City of Montrose Web site as soon as they are announced. Chinn says that's likely to be sometime this week.
Witte and Ragsdale are both in fair condition and are expected to make a full recovery.
According to the City's Web site, Ragsdale has 18 years of law enforcement experience that include 15 years with the City of Northglenn where he was twice recognized as Field Training Officer of the year. He joined the MPD in August 2008. Witte was hired as a police recruit in May of 2007 and was promoted to officer in August 2007.
The City's Web site says, "Our thoughts and prayers are with each of these officers as they recover from their injuries. We also wish to express our heartfelt gratitude and deepest respect for those who risk their lives each day to serve and protect our community."