Maryville College mentors reflect after alum stops Colorado mass shooter

Agent Ferris is recovering from one gun shot wound in a hospital with her family.
One of Maryville College’s alum is being hailed for her heroic efforts after stopping a mass shooting suspect in Colorado, where she serves as a police agent.
Published: Jan. 2, 2022 at 10:00 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 3, 2022 at 9:07 PM EST
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DENVER, Co. (WVLT) - One of Maryville College’s alumni is being hailed for her heroic efforts after stopping a mass shooting suspect in Colorado, where she serves as a police agent.

On Monday, Dec. 27, Lakewood and Denver communities were devastated after a gunman opened fire and killed five people while injuring others, including officers, according to a Facebook post by the Lakewood Police Department.

After traveling and shooting and killing a 38-year-old man at a tattoo shop and a 28-year-old woman at the Hyatt House, the 47-year-old male suspect exchanged gunfire with police from both agencies.

From there, the shooter allegedly headed to another area where he met Lakewood Police Agent Ashley Ferris, who is also a Maryville College alum.

Agent Ferris ordered the reported shooter to drop his weapon as he approached her. However, police officials said that the suspect ignored her commands and shot her in the abdomen.

While injured, Agent Ferris was able to shoot back, striking the suspect. He was pronounced dead on the scene.

The Lakewood Police Department said that without the heroic efforts of Agent Ferris and other law enforcement personnel, the tragedy could have been much worse.

WVLT News spoke to personnel at Maryville College that knew Ferris. The director of Maryville College’s outdoor team-building company, Bruce Guillaume, spoke highly of Agent Ferris.

“She did things beyond what you expect her undergraduate students to do,” Guillaume said.

Guillaume was not surprised to hear of Ferris’ courage.

“It didn’t surprise me that Ashley possesses that quality of courage,” they said. “But it’s always surprising on a national news event that you know, somebody that you know, shows up in the midst of it. So in that sense, I was surprised. But I wasn’t surprised that there was any anything beyond any of the qualities that she possessed.”

Ferris’ college cross country coach, Tyson Murphy, heard from the agent, and said she was in good spirits given what she had been through.

“She made a joke about cross country kind of building up her warrior spirit,” Murphy said. “I know that it has nothing to do with what she what she went through, but it was great to see her humor and focus on others shone through and a quick email right after such an extreme situation.”

Maryville College also sent its thoughts and prayers to the alum and hero.

Agent Ferris remains in hospital with her family by her side, according to police officials.

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