Deputy Sheriff Sam Brownlee Weld County Sheriff’s Office Colorado End of Watch: Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Photograph: Deputy Sheriff Sam BrownleePatch image: Weld County Sheriff's Office, Colorado

Deputy Sheriff Sam Brownlee
Weld County Sheriff’s Office

End of Watch: Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Biographical Info
Age: 43
Tour of Duty: 5 years
Badge Number: W679

Incident Details
Cause of Death: Gunfire
Date of Incident: Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type
Suspect Info: Shot and killed

Deputy Sam Brownlee was shot and killed while attempting to capture a suspect following a high-speed chase.
A deputy from neighboring Morgan County and a Wiggins police officer attempted to stop the suspect after identifying the suspect’s vehicle in relation to an earlier domestic violence case. The suspect refused to yield and led officers from multiple agencies on a high-speed chase across Morgan and Weld counties.
The pursuit at times exceeded 100 miles per hour before stop sticks were deployed, successfully disabling the vehicle in a residential area of Evans. Deputy Brownlee pursued the suspect on foot before both were fatally shot in an exchange of gunfire.
Deputy Brownlee had served with the Weld County Sheriff’s Office for five years. He is survived by his wife.

Agency Contact Information
Weld County Sheriff’s Office
915 10th Street
Greeley, CO 80631
Phone: (970) 356-4015
Please contact the Weld County Sheriff’s Office for funeral arrangements or for survivor benefit fund information.

He stood on top of the overpass alone on that April morning, seven months ago, in the driving rain and strong wind, and Sam Brownlee snapped a sharp salute at the buses passing under him.
It was the Honor Flight, leaving for the airport for a World War II veterans’ flight, and Brownlee arrived early at the bridge, so he’d be there to salute the veterans.
Brownlee, 43, died Tuesday morning in west Evans, shot by a man who had just led police on an hour-long car chase from Fort Morgan. The man who shot him, 20-year-old Rueben Reyes, also died at North Colorado Medical Center.
Brownlee, a five-year veteran with the sheriff’s office, had a strong impact on the department.
“He was our field training officer,” said Sheriff John Cooke. “Only our best deputies train new officers.”
Brownlee was with the Ault Police Department before joining the sheriff’s office, and he grew up in Greeley. At the sheriff’s office, he was also a trainer in firearms and Taser instruction.
In 2006, Brownlee received the department’s life-saving award for giving CPR to an elderly woman.
“He was one of those really personable people,” said sheriff’s department Bureau Chief Randy Winsett. “People felt really comfortable with him.”
Winsett said Brownlee was quick to respond when another officer needed backup.
“He was an officer who was always doing his job,” Winsett said.
The sheriff said just two days ago, Brownlee responded to a house fire in Hudson, and when he arrived, he ran into the burning building to check and make sure no one was inside.
“That’s the kind of person he was,” Cooke said.
Brownlee’s wife, Heather, is an employee of the Weld District Attorney’s Office, and he had two children and two stepchildren.
Hours after the shooting, friends posted their condolences on Brownlee’s Facebook page.
“Sam, It was an honor to know you,” wrote Luke McDonald. “You were a good person and although we never knew each other on a level that friends do, you always treated me as one. Thank you for that. Rest in peace, your shift is over my friend.”


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