When Jeffco sheriff’s Deputy Fred Haggett came face to face with an armed criminal, only one thing went through the deputy’s mind.
“He was trying to get into and hijack another vehicle; I couldn’t let that happen,” Haggett said.
Haggett tackled Christopher David Sullivan on Interstate 70 near Lookout Mountain on July 23 after a burglary and carjacking spree.
“(In a situation like that), you’re not really thinking; you’re reacting,” Haggett said of his brief standoff with Sullivan. “We practice and train for these types of things.”
'No time to think'
It was shaping up to be a normal Wednesday for Haggett, who’s served with the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office for 22 years. The traffic-unit specialist was watching for speeding cars on Colorado 93 north of Golden when he was called to respond to the I-70 incident.
“There’s not a lot of time to think,” Haggett said of the moment he arrived at the scene. “I’m out-gunned, and I need to engage him; I’m very tuned into the fact that he has a rifle and I have a handgun.
Haggett said he instructed Sullivan to drop his weapons and to get on the ground.
“He’s dropping his weapons and holding his hands up, but he’s not following the orders to drop to the ground,” Haggett said. “I wasn’t sure if he had anymore weapons. (But) I couldn’t identify a deadly situation, so I holstered my weapon and went after him.”
Haggett pulled Sullivan to the ground. After Sullivan was under control, two men approached to help the deputy.
“I’m very grateful for both of the citizens who were willing to help out,” Haggett said.
Haggett thanked his training and, most importantly, his reactions.
“This is what we train for,” he said. “We practice and are prepared for situations like this.”
Many people on social media called Haggett a hero for his actions last Wednesday. Haggett doesn’t see it that way.
“I ended up being the guy on the spot,” he said. “It’s training and reaction. If it’d been (another law enforcement officer), they would’ve done the same thing.”
Contact Daniel Laverty at 303-350-1042 or Daniel@evergreenco.com.