Sonny Almanza charged with first-degree murder of slain Arvada police officer Dillon Vakoff

The Jefferson County District Attorney on Monday evening announced formal charges for the 31-year-old suspect accused of killing Arvada police officer Dillon Vakoff and injuring another woman.

Sonny Almanza was charged with 11 counts, including first-degree murder of a peace officer and criminal attempt to commit murder in the first-degree, the DA’s office said in a news release.

Vakoff, 27, was memorialized Friday, where friends, family and fellow officers remembered the focused, ambitious and fiercely optimistic officer who “died a warrior’s death.”

The three-year veteran of the force was shot and killed Sept. 11 after responding to a large family disturbance. The officers attempted to check on two minor children but were confronted with a chaotic scene of people in the street.

They attempted to separate the belligerent crowd when Almanza allegedly opened fire, police previously said.

A woman, Mercedes Lopez, was also shot and is expected to survive.

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