Friday, June 6, 2003 | 11:07 a.m.
People who were near the Capri Motel Thursday afternoon scrambled for cover when four Metro Police officers fired numerous bullets at a man who police say drove his Camaro toward the officers.
George Thomas Murray, 42, who police said was a six-time felon, was in critical condition today at University Medical Center's Trauma Intensive Care Unit.
Police were at the motel at 3245 E. Fremont St. about 1:30 p.m. to serve a search warrant in connection with a narcotics investigation, according to Metro Lt. Tom Monahan.
As four uniformed police officers drove into the motel parking lot in an unmarked police van, Murray, who was in a Camaro in the lot and was associated with the room that was to be searched, apparently realized that police had arrived, Monahan said. Murray accelerated, driving directly at the officers, who had gotten out of the van, he said.
Another officer arrived in an unmarked police car and blocked the Camaro's exit. As Murray drove toward the four officers from the van, they all fired at Murray and some of their bullets struck him, Monahan said. Police did this morning had not yet said how many shots officers fired.
David Quartaro, owner of David's Complete Auto across the street from the motel, said Metro officers had been parked outside his business in an unmarked car since Thursday morning watching the motel.
"(The police) pinned (Murray's) car against the hotel, and he tried to escape," Quartaro said. The suspect put his Camaro in reverse and slammed on the gas, hitting the police car, he said. In response, Quartaro said, four officers shot at the car.
He said he heard 14 shots.
"I was in the service. I counted the shots," he said, adding that six shots hit the front of his building, but no one was hurt.
Metro homicide detectives said this morning, however, that investigators have determined that the holes in the building are not bullet holes, but rather are holes from bolts or similar devices that were used to hold up a sign that has since been removed.
Reza Izadyar, who works as an electrician at Boulder Auto Service across the street from the motel, said he watched the shooting with binoculars.
"It happened so fast. I got scared," he said while standing in the garage an hour after the shooting. "The guy didn't want to give up. It was like the movies."
After it was over, he said he believed some bullets had come across the street.
"I didn't realize bullets could travel so far. I could have been shot."
Izadyar said the motel "isn't the classiest joint," but he said the area isn't particularly crime-ridden.
A man was killed in the motel last year.
Metro today continued withholding the names of the officers involved in Thursday's shooting because the department's policy is to wait 48 hours before releasing the names. The four officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.
Thursday's shooting marked the fourth time this year that Metro officers had shot someone. Two of the previous people shot by officers died.
The last officer-involved shooting was April 18, when an officer shot a man who allegedly tried to hit the officer with a golf club. The shooting was found to be justified by a coroner's inquest jury last month.