NEDERLAND, Colo. – An employee at the Eldora ski resort fatally shot the resort's general manager Tuesday morning, then was killed a short time later in a shootout with a Boulder County sheriff's deputy, authorities said.
Boulder County sheriff Joe Pelle said the deputy was responding to an emergency call at Eldora Mountain Resort when he saw the suspect driving away from the ski area.
The deputy, John Seifert, chased the suspect, who pulled over and fired at Seifert, damaging the front of the patrol vehicle and shattering the windshield. Seifert got out of his vehicle and fired back, mortally wounding the suspect.
"The whole front of the patrol car was shot up," Pelle told KWGN-TV.
The Boulder County Coroner's Office later identified the suspect as Derik A. Bonestroo, 24, of Nederland. Bonestroo was a lift operator at the ski area.
Seifert, a member of the agency's SWAT team, was injured by flying glass from his windshield and was treated and released from Boulder Community Hospital.
Calls to the resort were not answered but in a statement the resort identified the employee killed as Brian Mahon, Eldora's general manager.
Mahon, 49, had been an Eldora manager since 1991 and leaves behind a wife and two children, Pelle said.
A highway was closed as police investigated.
In a statement, Boulder Undersheriff Tom Shomaker said the suspect walked into the resort's pump house about 7:30 a.m. where other employees were dressing and yelled something about religion.
"Another employee entered the room and asked what was going on and was shot by the suspect," Shomaker said.
Mahon was shot twice, once in the head and once in the chest, said Detective Cmdr. Phil West of the sheriff's office. He died at the scene.
Witnesses said about 20 employees were getting ready for work when Bonestroo, dressed in black, walked in. Matthew Koehorst, a 21-year-old ski resort employee, told The Denver Post the manager's death appeared "just unlucky — a complete fluke."
"It could've been me next," he said. "I was next in line. ... That was the most terrifying experience of my life; I'm not gonna go through that again."
West said the shooting began during a morning meeting of lift operators near the ski area's base.