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Detective Sergeant Donald Robert Laabs | Manitou Springs Police Department, Colorado Manitou Springs Police Department, Colorado

Detective Sergeant

Donald Robert Laabs

Manitou Springs Police Department, Colorado

End of Watch: Thursday, December 18, 1975

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun; .22 caliber

Offender: Shot and killed

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Sergeant Donald Laabs was shot and killed while returning home in his cruiser. Witnesses observed him exit the highway in the direction he would normally travel home.

Approximately two hours later he was found shot to death in his police vehicle in the southbound lanes of I-25 near Arvada Street. He had been shot eight times with a .22 caliber handgun.

The case officially remains unsolved, however, the primary suspect was shot and killed following a chase with the Pueblo Police Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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Most Recent Reflection

My name is also Don. Don Laabs and I met when I returned from Vietnam in 66'. We both got stationed at Ft. Carson. Both of us were from New Jersey and became best friends on the spot. He and I and our wives would get together quite often. When we got out of the Army and went back to New Jersey we would get out to hunt and fish quite often. He started doing some narcotics work with various local Police departments in the area. I know that he felt that things were getting a bit HOT for him here at the time so he went to a couple of other States to do some work. But it didn't matter where he or I was or what he or I was doing we would always track each other down at least once or twice a year. In 1975 I didn't hear from him and by 1976 I never heard from him again and knew something was wrong. When I tried to find him through his parents I found that they had moved and I could find no return address. Through the years I had tried phone info all over the place and found nothing, until 12 or so years ago I found someone living in Colo Springs with the same name, but it wasn't him. He advised me that there had been a police officer in Manitou Springs several years ago with the same name who had been killed in the line of duty. It was my buddy, Don. I called Colo Springs and spoke with Peter Hannon, who told me about his Dad being Don's partner. Don may you rest in peace my friend one day we will fish together again. You have always been in my heart, may God Bless you. Thank you for your military and police service. You are indeed a hero. Your Friend always, Don Salonis

Sp E-5
US Army Vietnam Vet
November 23, 2014


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