Andrew Peery, El Paso Deputy Killed in the Line of Duty: 5 Fast Facts

andrew peery

El Paso County Sheriff Andrew Peery was an El Paso County Sheriff's Deputy who was killed in the line of duty Sunday, August 7, 2022.

Andrew Peery was an El Paso County Sheriff’s Deputy who was killed in the line of duty while protecting others from a gunman Sunday, August 7, 2022. The suspect, identified as John Paz by law enforcement, was found dead shortly after the shooting near a local high school.

A woman was also found dead on the scene, according to the Colorado Springs Police Department, the lead investigating agency in the shooting. The police department is investigating the deaths of Peery and the woman as homicides. Her name has not been identified. Paz was found dead inside the house where officers were called, and police believe he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“It is with a heavy heart that we share Deputy Andrew Peery has been killed in the line of duty,” the El Paso County Sheriff said in a statement.

A procession was scheduled for the fallen deputy at 8:30 p.m. to escort his body from the hospital, passed the sheriff’s office and to the coroner’s office.

“Please line the streets with your flags for the family,” the sheriff’s office said.

Peery was a 39-year-old married father of two, according to KKTV News. His wife is named Megan, the news station reported.

Here’s what you need to know:

1. Peery Was Killed Responding to a Report of Shots Fired Near a Local High School

Peery was responding to a call near Widefield High School in El Paso County, Colorado at about 5 p.m. August 7 with two other officers when he was killed, according to KKTV News. The deputies and a local police officer were dispatched after receiving reports of gunfire in the area. Law enforcement said a suspect opened fire immediately after they arrived.

“The caller was reporting a shooting in the area of the 500 block of Ponderosa, which is in Security,” El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder said in a press conference. “We had additional callers who were also hearing gunfire in the same area. Two of our deputies, alongside a Fountain police officer, arrived on scene almost simultaneously. As soon as they arrived, they were immediately met with gunfire.”

At least one round was returned, and Peery was hit, the sheriff said.

“Our deputies returned fire with at least one round, and after additional personnel arrived on scene, they immediately rendered aid and life-saving measures,” Elder said.

2. Peery Died Heroically Protecting Those Around Him From an Armed Suspect, Officials Said

Friends and fellow deputies described Peery as a protector who died heroically, according to KKTV News.

“He put himself in the line of fire to save others,” a friend told the news station.

Scott Stone, a former El Paso Sheriff’s Deputy, told the news station that Peery was a person who always made sure his brothers and sisters in blue were safe.

“He was a kind soul,” Stone told KKTV. “He was a man’s man, he made sure that we were — that the guys on his team were always taken care of. He would have given the shirt off his back to his fellow officers.”

Stone was injured in 2018 during a line-of-duty shooting that killed Deputy Micah Flick, KKTV reported.

“It’s one of the worst feelings in the pit of your stomach. It’s a gut-wrenching thing. You feel for his family, you feel for his kids. It’s going to be a long healing process,” he said.

Another person who worked with Peery, Jason Garrett, wrote in a Facebook post that Peery represented the best in law enforcement by running into the danger to protect others.

He wrote:

While people were sheltering, Andrew went TO the danger. It cost him his life. The Thin Blue Line is real, and he personified it. I refuse to allow the naysayers to redefine that phrase as something negative. I worked with him day in and day out for 2 years on SWAT and as such can testify he was passionate, brave, led well, followed well, and put everything he had and more into being a proficient operator. He was also roundly loved by all who knew and worked with him. He was the best of us. Please remember his blood and blue family.

3. Peery Was a Decorated Deputy Who Joined the Sheriff’s Office in 2016

Peery joined the El Paso Sheriff’s Office in 2016, Elder said in a press conference. He was a highly decorated officer and worked as a SWAT operator in the office.

“Andrew was a highly dedicated, highly decorated SWAT operator for the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, and he has been with my office since 2016,” Elder said in the news conference in the hours after the shooting.

Peery previously worked for the Bakersfield Police Department, the county seat of Kern County, California, according to the Kern County District Attorney. Kern County is located in the Central Valley. The city had a population of about 380,000 in 2020, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.

4. Peery Was the Son of an LAPD Officer & a Native of Central Valley California

Peery came from a law enforcement family, officials said. Peery’s father, David Peery, was an officer with the Los Angeles Police Department who later became an investigator with the Kern County District Attorney’s Office, the DA’s office said in a statement. Andrew Peery was a native of Kern County, California, and previously worked as a police officer in the county’s largest city.

“We are very sad to share news that #EPCSO Deputy Andrew Peery was killed in the line of duty. He was a Kern native & previously employed at @bakersfieldpd,” the district attorney’s office said. “His late father, David Peery, was an officer at #LAPD & later a KCDA Investigator. Our hearts & prayers are w/ the family.”

Peery’s brother, Matt Peery, is a retired sergeant with the Bakersfield Police Department, which sent out condolences to Peery’s family.

“Today is a somber day for the entire Bakersfield Police Department Family as El Paso County Deputy Andrew Peery who previously worked for BPD was killed in the line of duty last night,” Kevin Burton wrote on Facebook. “Please keep his entire family, his brother Matt Peery, retired Sgt BPD, El Paso County Sheriff Department, and Bakersfield Police Department in your thoughts and prayers.”

Peery’s Facebook page shows that he was an avid mountain biker. He listed his hometown as Frazier Park, California. He had not posted publicly on Facebook since 2018.

5. Peery Was an Iraq War Veteran & Leaves Behind a Wife & 2 Children

Peery was also a military veteran who served in Iraq with the U.S. Army, according to Matthew Baden, a friend who said they served together.

His sister, Katie Schneider, wrote in a Facebook post that Peery was a dedicated father to his two children.

“Andrew is my brother. I am at a total loss for words,” she wrote. “He was a great man who loved his job and his kids more than anything! It’s amazing to see all the support for him. Love and miss you Andrew!!”

READ NEXT: John Paz: Suspect Found Dead After El Paso Deputy Killing

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