Boulder deputy honored for bravery in Eldora shootout |

Boulder deputy honored for bravery in Eldora shootout

Howard Pankratz
The Denver Post

A deputy sheriff who fatally shot the killer of Eldora Mountain Resort general manager Brian Mahon during a gun battle last December has been named “Officer of the Month” by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

Deputy John Seifert, was fired on 27 times by Derik Bonestroo, minutes after Bonestroo killed Mahon at the ski area.

The memorial fund began recognizing heroism of officers in 1996. Seifert will presented with the award in May 2010 in Washington, D.C. at a luncheon of the National Law Enforcement Officers Fund Board of Directors.

Seifert, a deputy with the Boulder County Sheriff’s Department, was responding to the call of a shooting at the ski area about 7:30 a.m. Dec. 30, when he spotted Bonestroo’s car and began a short chase.

Bonestroo stopped his car on the Peak-to-Peak Highway just south of Nederland and opened fire on Seifert.

His handgun initially would not fire, but using his car door for cover, Seifert was eventually able to get a bullet to enter the chamber and return fire.

The deputy hit Bonestroo’s car at least 10 times and hit Bonestroo several times before the gunman killed himself.

Bonestroo had been hospitalized on a mental-health hold in the summer of 2008 and apparently skipped taking his medications after his release, according to authorities. He was in residence at an in-patient mental-health facility in Boulder as late as October.

Seifert, whose patrol car was hit by at least 11 shots fired by Bonestroo, received minor injuries. None of the motorists on the Peak-to-Peak Highway, who witnessed the firefight, were injured.

Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle said today that Seifert acted appropriately and heroically when confronting Bonestroo.

In January, Pelle presented Seifert with the Boulder Sheriff’s Department’s “Medal of Valor,” which is awarded to department employees who perform acts of “extreme personal bravery or self-sacrifice.”

Howard Pankratz: 303-954-1939 or

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