An Aurora man received more than 23 years in federal prison for shooting and injuring a Rocky Mountain National Park ranger last year.
Daron Marquel Ellis, 29, pleaded guilty to attempted second-degree murder of a federal officer and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado said in a news release.
On Dec. 8, a Colorado State Patrol trooper attempted to stop Ellis for speeding on U.S. 34 in Larimer County. During the stop, the trooper learned the license plate on the car was stolen, authorities said.
Ellis, after being asked to get out of the car, sped off toward Rocky Mountain National Park. Around 10:15 a.m. a ranger at the park’s Fall River entrance recognized Ellis’ car and ordered the individuals in it to show their hands.
Prosecutors say Ellis began firing at the ranger with a semiautomatic handgun, hitting the federal officer in the chest. (The bullets hit the ranger in his ballistic’s vest, preventing serious injury).
The ranger, who was not named, returned fire, authorities said. Ellis eventually surrendered and was arrested.
“To shoot at and try to kill a peace officer is a particularly egregious crime that will be punished with significant time in federal prison,” U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan said in the news release.