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A suspect was arrested Monday in Colorado after allegedly killing a sheriff’s deputy in a hit-and-run the day before, according to the Weld County Sheriff’s Office.
The sheriff’s office said the suspect was taken into custody by the sheriff’s office Strike Team, Colorado State Patrol and Fort Collins police shortly after 10 p.m. Monday evening. The suspect has been identified as Octavio Gonzalez-Garcia, who is in his late 30s and resides in the U.S. illegally.
The victim, 24-year-old Weld County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz, was pronounced dead at the scene of the crash on Sunday. She was on her way to work at the county jail.
“Alexis was hired in November 2018 and assigned to the Weld County Jail where she served as a detentions deputy,” Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said in a statement on Facebook.
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“She joined our ranks at the age of 21. Alexis was born in Bismarck, N.D. It was a childhood dream to someday serve others as a peace officer,” he continued.
Colorado State Patrol is leading the investigation into the circumstances of the crash. The Weld County Sheriff’s Office is assisting.
The deputy was riding her personal motorcycle to work when the hit-and-run happened. Gonzalez-Garcia, who was driving a Ford van, fled the scene on foot after the collision.
Hein-Nutz was traveling southbound when the suspect drove from a stop sign at the intersection into the deputy’s path. She collided with the front passenger side of Gonzalez-Garcia’s vehicle and her motorcycle caught fire.
“We do believe the driver of the van was under the influence at the time, there is evidence to support that,” Colorado State Patrol’s Joshua Lewis said, according to FOX 31.
Police said they found evidence to support that Gonzalez-Garcia was living in the country illegally when they discovered an apparently falsified Green Card and fake Social Security Card in his car.
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The Weld County Sheriff’s Office is accepting donations to help Hein-Nutz’s family through its nonprofit charitable foundation, the Weld County Sheriff’s Office Posse.
“Alexis was a hard worker, a caring deputy and a positive force for our agency,” Reams said. “I share in my deputies’ grief and in their anger over her senseless and tragic passing. But we are a family, and we will get through this painful event together.”