Following are some limited details about the officer involved shooting that occurred in the early morning hours today. The investigation into the circumstances surrounding these events is still very active. As the investigation unfolds, additional information will be discovered and more details will reveal themselves. As with any complex investigation such as this one, information is likely to change.
Preliminary investigation indicates that an officer with the Grand Junction Police Department initiated contact with a suspicious vehicle in the area of S. 9th Street and Pitkin Avenue shortly after midnight. The officer believed the vehicle was involved in a prior weapons violation with a known suspect. Within moments of the initial contact, the officer requested emergency back up to his location. Moments after that, the same officer aired “shots fired,” and requested an ambulance to respond. Back up officers arrived on scene within minutes of the initial call, and found the officer pinned between a vehicle and a building on Pitkin Avenue. Officers had to break a window in the vehicle in order to move the vehicle and free the officer from his position. Medical personnel arrived on scene and determined that the male suspect, who was seated in the driver’s seat of the vehicle with apparent gunshot wounds, was deceased. The officer was transported to the hospital for treatment, and he has since been released. A handgun was recovered from inside of the suspect’s vehicle.
The officer involved in this incident has worked for the Grand Junction Police Department since 2008.
The criminal investigation into this matter 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 ultimately be forwarded to the District Attorney for final review and determination of lawfulness. Concurrently, an internal investigation will take place by the Grand Junction Police Department. The officer will remain on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the internal investigation.
The CIRT team will also be working closely with the Mesa County Coroner to notify next of kin of the deceased, as well as to determine the manner and cause of death. Notification of the identity of the deceased will be released by the Coroner’s office in the coming days, once appropriate notifications have been made.
No further information is anticipated to be released until early next week.