Suspect accused of shooting a police officer found competent to stand trial

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An Uber driver is speaking out for the first time about her encounter with a suspect accused of shooting a police officer.

Karrar Al Khammasi has been found competent to stand trial for the shooting of Colorado Springs Officer Cem Duzel one year ago.

Al Khammasi is accused of ambushing Duzel while the officer responded to a shots-fired call near downtown in the wee hours of Aug. 2, 2018. Duzel and the suspect allegedly traded gunfire, resulting both men being shot. Duzel was wounded far more seriously, and more than 12 months later is still in recovery.

Al Khammasi was previously found competent to stand trial in April, but his lawyers requested a second evaluation, which is a legal right.

The judge ruled Wednesday that the case would move forward.

Al Khammasi will next be in court in September.


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An Uber driver is speaking out for the first time about her encounter with a suspect accused of shooting a police officer.

Carrie Ward says she kicked the suspect, Karrar Al Khammasi, out of her car before he allegedly shot an officer in the head the same night. Ward tells 11 News she accepted a request for a ride late one night in early August. Ward says she had a gut feeling something was wrong before she even picked up the passenger near Platte Avenue in Colorado Springs.

"As I was pulling up I had a terrible feeling and I almost drove off," Ward said. “Something with the body language, the way he was standing up against the car.”

Ward says the ride was requested through Uber by the suspect's friend. When she showed up in the parking lot, she says Karrar Al Khammasi came up to her car angry and irritated. He then allegedly got into the backseat and started arguing with the driver.

“His eyes. He had evil in his eyes," Ward told 11 News. "I honestly watched his eyes change in anger. I watched his pupils dilate. I saw the anger in his face.”

Ward tells 11 News a woman who was in the parking lot convinced the suspect to get out of the car.

Ward says she went behind the bar to calm herself down. She ended up giving someone else a ride in the same area. Shortly after she left, she heard gunshots.

“A lady came flying up the road screaming that he had a gun. That I needed to get out of there," Ward said.

Ward called 911 and saw police rush to the scene at Boulder Street and Swope Avenue in east Colorado Springs.

"My perception is that he turned and then five shots were fired, and then another five shots were fired.”

The first officer to respond, Cem Duzel, was shot in the head. The Colorado Springs Police Department said Duzel was ambushed by gunfire while responding to a shots-fired call just southeast of downtown on the morning of Aug. 2. Duzel and the suspect, who police have identified as 31-year-old Al Khammasi, traded gunshots, ending with injuries to both.

“It kills me, because had I not just driven the angry jerk home. I do it daily. That man wouldn’t be hurt," Ward said. “I am sorry. I am very sorry that his life had to change.”

Ward was not hurt, but the incident has left her filled with guilt.

“I didn’t want those cops hurt. I could see the way they were all flooding in," Ward said. “I could have just driven him home. I could have not argued. And it could have been me.”

Ward's sedan was seized as evidence, leaving her without a way to support her family. A judge ruled in September that Ward could get her car back.

Officer Duzel was critically injured in the shooting but is now recovering at a rehab center in Denver.