Fallen Arvada officer was former Air Force serving in his hometown police department

Officer Dillon Vakoff
Officer Dillon Vakoff(Arvada Police Department)
Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 7:28 AM MDT|Updated: Sep. 11, 2022 at 11:04 AM MDT
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ARVADA, Colo. (KKTV) - A Colorado police department is in mourning after losing one of its own.

Officer Dillon Vakoff, just 27, was killed in the line of duty while responding to a large family disturbance in Arvada early Sunday.

The Arvada Police Department says Vakoff and a second officer pulled up to the scene to find a number of people fighting in the street.

“The initial two officers tried to separate several belligerent and uncooperative individuals when the suspect began to fire and shot a female victim,” the police department wrote in a social media post.

The officers traded gunfire with the suspect, and Vakoff and the suspect were both hit.

“The second officer on scene attempted to rescue his friend and colleague and provide first aid. The officer was transported to the hospital, where he was declared deceased,” police said.

The suspect’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he remained in police custody while at the hospital.

The female victim is expected to survive.

Fellow officers lined the streets at 5:30 a.m. as the fallen officer was escorted in a procession from Lutheran Medical Center in Wheat Ridge to the Jefferson County Coroner’s Office.

Vakoff grew up in Arvada and joined his hometown’s police department in 2019. Prior to becoming a law enforcement officer, Vakoff served in the Air Force for six years, earning the rank of staff sergeant.

“Dillion is an example of everything good you would want in a police officer. He was training toward being a SWAT Officer, and without a doubt would have continued to have a positive impact on his community,” the police department said.

Those wishing to donate to Vakoff’s family can do so through the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation. The police department says this is the only official donation site for Vakoff.

“This is a tragic loss to this community, to this department, but most significantly to his family and loved ones. His service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.”