Crime of the Week #MCCrimeStoppers #GVCopBeat

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16-54483This week Crime Stoppers of Mesa County needs your help in locating the suspect involved in taking a wallet from an elderly man.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 10th, Grand Junction Police were dispatched to a robbery call in the 1900 block of North Avenue. The 79 year old male victim was found assaulted outside his hotel room. The security photo of the male suspect can be viewed at http://www.241stop.com.

If you know the identity or location of the subject involved in this crime, please call Crime Stoppers at 241-7867. Information reported to Crime Stoppers that leads to an arrest can earn you up to $1,000 cash reward and you will remain completely anonymous. For more information, see us at http://www.241stop.com.

GJPD Case# 2016-54483

Update on Crash at Riverside Parkway and 29 Road This Morning #GVCopBeat

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Cropped Badge-Transparent BackgroundAt 6:40am, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were dispatched to a crash at the intersection of 29 Road and Riverside Parkway.  Preliminary investigation indicates that an adult female, driving a Smart car, was eastbound on Riverside Parkway and was preparing to turn northbound on 29 Road when she collided with a truck that was traveling westbound on the Parkway, driven by an adult male.  The female was transported to the hospital where, we are sad to report, she died from injuries sustained in the crash.  The male driver was uninjured.  No one has been charged in this accident, and the investigation into cause and circumstances is ongoing.  The identity of the deceased will be released by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office.

Traffic in the area was shut down for approximately four hours this morning, as officers investigated and mapped the scene.  Traffic is now open in all directions.  If anyone witnessed the crash this morning, please call our Investigations division at (970)549-5200.

Our thoughts and sympathies are with the family and friends who lost a loved one in this tragic incident.

Search Warrant Information Determined to be Incorrect #GVCopBeat

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MESA COUNTY, COLORADO – In the early hours of this morning, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department received information about a large amount of methamphetamine at a home in Clifton. The reporting party provided detailed information regarding the amount of drugs in the home and where they were located, as well as information regarding firearms in the home. The reporting party was able to provide an exact address of the home, using a GPS map.

Based on this information, surveillance was conducted on the home, while officers with the Grand Junction Police Department, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, and the Western Colorado Drug Task Force waited for a search warrant to be prepared and signed by a judge. Once that was obtained, officers served the search warrant early this morning.

Upon initial contact at the residence, officers received no answer at the door. As is standard protocol when probable cause has been developed that illegal or dangerous activity is occurring, and armed with the signed search warrant, officers forced entry into the home, using a breaching tool. During entry into the residence, several windows of the home were broken.

Ultimately, officers contacted the residents inside the address, and determined that they were not the suspects that officers were looking for. Further investigation determined that the suspects named by the original reporting party had lived at the address at one time, but had since moved away from the address, which was now occupied by a family with several children.

We are deeply regretful of the experience to which this family was subjected. We have met with the family, including the children, to explain in detail how such a mistake was made. We are currently in the process of replacing the windows that were broken, repairing the front door, and arranging for new carpet to be installed, as we are concerned about possible glass in the existing carpet.

Ultimately, the most important thing law enforcement can do after an incident like this is carefully evaluate what happened, and determine how we can prevent such a mistake from happening again. We will be doing just that.

We are so grateful that no one was hurt, and we want to publicly apologize to the family, and acknowledge what a frightening and disconcerting experience this must have been for them.

We are committed to being transparent in our operations, and that includes the bad, as well as the good. We appreciate the support and encouragement we receive from our community, and we remain dedicated to being worthy of your trust.

Update on Officer Involved Shooting #GVCopBeat

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Cropped Badge-Transparent BackgroundOn Sunday, September 4th, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were involved in a shooting at the Shamrock Mobile Home Park at 2845 North Avenue.  The following provides some additional details about this incident, as well as some context as to how investigations like this are handled.

It’s important to note that this information is being released on behalf of the Grand Junction Police Department only. As with any officer involved shooting, the investigation of Sunday’s events will be handled by the multi-jurisdictional 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, which is comprised of representatives of local and state law enforcement agencies.  The findings of that investigation will be forwarded to the District Attorney for final review and determination of lawfulness.  Our agency takes this process seriously, and will avoid releasing any information that could interfere with or influence a fair and impartial review of this case.  The following information will be limited to the events leading up to the culmination of Sunday’s incident.

As with any complex investigation such as this one, the CIRT Team is conducting numerous interviews, and evaluating a large volume of data and evidence. As we gather additional facts related to the case and the subjects involved, new details will emerge and it’s possible that some information could change.

At about 3:48 p.m. on Sunday afternoon, September 4th, the reporting party in this case called 911 from her neighbor’s home, and stated that her husband, identified as 44 year old Simon Gomez, who she believed to be under the influence of an unknown substance, was in their home with the reporting party’s two children, a 9 year old girl and a 6 year old boy. The reporting party stated that her husband was acting strange and paranoid, and had not let any of them leave the home all day.  She stated that her husband had three knives “on him.” The reporting party expressed fear for her children, and stated she didn’t know whether or not her husband would harm the children.

Initially, two GJPD officers were dispatched to the Shamrock Mobile Home Park at 3:50pm, with the first unit arriving on scene at 3:54pm. Once on scene, officers contacted the reporting party to gather more information.  Multiple attempts were made to contact Mr. Gomez via phone, but each time the phone went to voice mail.  Officers called for Code 1 air (meaning no unrelated traffic on the radio) at 4:32pm, when they attempted to make contact with the suspect at the front door of the residence.  Officers were able to make verbal contact with the suspect through a window of the home, but he rebuffed their efforts to talk and they were not able to confirm that the children were safe.  At 4:40pm–nearly an hour after the initial call–officers could hear what sounded like items being broken inside the trailer.  Due to the statements from the reporting party regarding the behavior of the suspect and the inability to confirm the safety of the children, officers had grave concerns for the welfare of the kids.  Therefore, the decision was made to enter the home.  With the reporting party’s permission, who was also the renter of the property, officers forced entry into the home, with the use of a breaching tool, at 4:42pm.

Upon entering the home, officers found that the suspect had set up numerous barricades, by placing furniture and other items in the narrow hallway. Officers heard noises in the back of the trailer and after first checking a back bedroom, they realized that the noises were coming from the bathroom.

Officers entered the bathroom and observed silhouettes behind the sliding shower door. The suspect ordered the officers to get out and stated that he would kill the children.  The officers opened the sliding shower door, and immediately observed Mr. Gomez kneeling or crouching in the bathtub and holding both children hostage, armed with two knives, with one knife pointed at the neck of each of the children.  Both children were crying.  The suspect was ordered at least twice to drop the knife.  When the suspect refused to do so, one officer fired his duty weapon.  According to radio traffic, officers called out “shots fired” at 4:44pm.  Paramedics were requested twelve seconds after the shots fired traffic. Ultimately, the suspect died at the scene.  Other than a small laceration that was later located on the boy’s hand, there were no other injuries to anyone else on scene.  It’s unknown at this time how the boy obtained the cut.

After shots were fired, the children were immediately carried from the home and taken to a patrol car. After quickly taking photographs to preserve evidence, they were cleaned up and assessed for injuries.  They were provided with water and stuffed animals until they could be transported the Police Department with their mom.  They were both provided with clean clothing.

Later, two knives were found in or near the bathtub where the suspect and children were. We were also able to confirm, during subsequent interviews with the children, that Gomez had held knives to the children’s chests and necks while they were alone with him in the trailer, prior to officers making entry into the home.

gomez_simon_0000023016_img113559Gomez has a criminal history in multiple states which includes numerous burglaries and DUIs, as well as several arrests for resisting arrest, eluding, and assault. Gomez’s history with our agency dates back to 2000, with arrests for DUI and assault.  Gomez’s most recent contact with us was just a few days ago, when a reporting party called 911 and stated that Gomez was yelling at a female and children.  Officers spoke to all parties involved, who stated that the argument was verbal only, and they agreed to separate until things settled down.

cpl-piotrowskiThe officer involved in the shooting is Corporal Ryan Piotrowski. Corporal Piotrowski has been with our agency for 13 years.  Ryan is a training officer, and also serves on our SWAT team.  Corporal Piotrowski is currently on Administrative Leave, pending the outcome of an internal investigation, which takes place separately from the criminal investigation being conducted by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT).

We have received the preliminary results of the autopsy for Mr. Gomez. The cause of death, according to the Mesa County Coroner, is gunshot wounds to the head and chest.  Toxicology results indicated the presence of alcohol and methamphetamine in his system.  A copy of the release from the Mesa County Coroner’s officer is attached here.

In addition to the CIRT team, we received the assistance of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, the Colorado State Patrol, and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation in this incident. In investigations as complex as this one, we are fortunate to have solid collaboration with our local law enforcement partners.

The scope of this investigation is large. Detectives have been, and will continue to conduct interviews with anyone that may be able to help complete the picture of the events that occurred on Sunday, as well as what that led up to the tragic outcome.  Anyone who feels they may have information that could be helpful is encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at (970)241-STOP, or www.241STOP.com.

Finally, the trauma inflicted on those affected by this incident–specifically, those innocent children—cannot be overstated. It’s heartbreaking to consider what they experienced on Sunday.  This is a deeply personal tragedy for this family, and we want to acknowledge the grief they must be suffering.  Any loss of life is tragic, and as an agency, we extend our condolences to those that are grieving.

 

Suspect killed in officer-involved shooting #GVCopBeat

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo – An officer with the Grand Junction Police Department was involved in a fatal officer-involved shooting Sunday afternoon after responding to a domestic situation at the Shamrock Mobile Home Park.

At 3:47 p.m. a woman called 911 concerned for the safety of her children still inside her home with her husband who was acting erratically.  Initial reports said he may be armed with several knives.

Concerned for the welfare of the children, Grand Junction Police Officers made contact with the man inside the home at 2845 North Ave #4.  A shooting occurred shortly thereafter, and the man died at the scene.  No one else was hurt in the shooting.

North Ave near 28 ½ Road was closed for a short time due to the investigation. It is now back open in both directions.

The Critical Incident Response Team was activated per standard practice. It is used for an investigation that involves an officer/deputy shooting. In this situation, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office is the lead investigating agency on this case, with assistance from multiple law enforcement agencies in the County.

The Critical Incident Response Team is comprised of the following agencies: Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation.  It is generally activated when a law enforcement agency is involved in a critical incident to ensure a complete and accurate investigation.

Have You Noticed Anything Missing From Your Car? #GVCopBeat #ShareGJ

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Cropped Badge-Transparent BackgroundEarlier this week, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were able to identify three juveniles who are suspected of unlawfully entering numerous unlocked vehicles and stealing various items in the late night hours of Sunday, August 21, and into the early morning of Monday, August 22.  The thefts were concentrated in the area of the Spyglass subdivision, the Applewood subdivision (sometimes referred to as the Knolls), and neighborhoods around Canyon View Park.  Numerous items of stolen property have been recovered, and officers would like to identify victims and property owners from these crimes.

If you live in one of these neighborhoods, or had your vehicle parked there in this time frame, we would ask that you check the inventory of your car to see if you are missing any items.  If you are, or even if you’re not, but you suspect that your car was entered, please call the Grand Junction Police Department at (970)242-6707, and reference case number 16-50150.  We’d love to reunite this recovered property with the rightful owners.

Arrest Made for Possession of Drugs and Weapons #GVCopBeat

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cuffsShortly after midnight on Sunday, an officer with the Grand Junction Police Department observed a vehicle parked near the intersection of N. 14th Street and Elm Avenue with a beer bottle on the roof of the car and a male standing outside of the vehicle, who appeared to be underage.  Upon seeing the officer, the male immediately entered the vehicle and attempted to drive away from the area.  The officer was able to stop the vehicle, and contacted the driver and occupants.

In addition to the driver, there were three passengers in the vehicle, one of whom was identified as Tyrone Gibson, 18.  Gibson was seated in the rear driver’s side seat of the vehicle, and officers observed that Gibson was holding an alcoholic beverage between his legs.  All of the occupants of the vehicle were asked to exit and sit on the curb.  When Gibson was asked to be patted down for weapons, he attempted to flee northbound.  An officer was able to grab Gibson in a bear hug, and Gibson immediately began reaching for his pants pocket.  Gibson was taken to the ground and placed in handcuffs.  A search of Gibson revealed a loaded pistol, drug paraphernalia, and cocaine in his pants pockets.  Gibson was found to have an active warrant for his arrest, and a check of the serial number on the pistol in his possession revealed that the gun had been reported as stolen.

Gibson was booked into the Mesa County Jail for charges including Possession of a Schedule I/II Controlled Substance (DF4), Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon (M2), Possession of Weapons by a Previous Offender (F5), Illegal Possession/Consumption of Marijuana Under 21 YOA (PO), Illegal Possession/Consumption of Alcohol Under 21 YOA (PO), Possession of Drug Paraphernalia (PO), and Resisting Arrest (M2).

The driver of the vehicle, Drew Ludwig, 18, was issued a summons for DUI and possession of alcohol and marijuana, and an additional juvenile passenger was issued a summons for possession of marijuana and possession of a schedule IV controlled substance.