Yesterday, the Grand Junction Police Department responded to two incidents which resulted in two local schools being put into shelter in place and lockdown.
At approximately 1:30pm, officers attempted to contact Austin Cook, 19, who was known to have outstanding warrants for his arrest, in the 500 Block of N 2nd Street. Cook fled from officers, who pursued on foot. Cook was observed in the area of the shopping center on the northwest corner of 1st Street and Grand Avenue. Due to the proximity to Dual Immersion Academy, the school was advised to institute shelter in place until the situation was under control. Cook was placed into custody within minutes of the incident beginning. He was found to have a loaded handgun in the backpack he was carrying. Ultimately, Cook was remanded to the Mesa County Jail for multiple warrants, as well as charges of Obstructing a Peace Officer (M2), 2nd Degree Criminal Trespass, Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon (M2), Possession of Handguns by Juveniles (M2), and Illegal Possession of Marijuana Paraphernalia. Cook was also charged with a robbery that occurred on November 8 in the 200 Block of Chipeta Avenue, and booked on those related charges, as well.
Shortly after that incident, at about 2:15pm, dispatch received a 911 call from a staff member at Landmark Baptist Church, located at 1600 Ute Avenue. The staff member stated that two young students of the private school there witnessed an armed male attempt to enter a locked door at the school. Officers responded immediately and the school was placed in lockdown. Multiple officers searched the surrounding area for the suspect, based on the description provided by the students, as well as additional officers who stayed inside the school with staff and students. Approximately an hour later, a male was arrested for felony menacing in the 2800 Block of North Avenue for threatening a victim with a machete. The suspect somewhat matched the description provided by the students at Landmark, but he has not been associated to that incident at this time.
Please remember that you can sign up for security alerts through Mesa County Valley School District 51 through their website here. If your child attends a school that is not associated to the School District, we recommend that you reach out to their administrators to find out how emergency communications are shared with parents. The protection of children in our community is paramount to the Grand Junction Police Department. We appreciate the cooperation and support of school staff, students, and parents in partnering with us to keep them safe.