On Sunday, June 2, shortly before 3:00pm, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were dispatched to a report of an explosion at 1600 North Avenue. Upon arrival, officers located a backpack just outside of a door to the building. In the hallway to the business complex, officers saw what appeared to be damage from a shotgun blast to the ceiling. Officers learned an employee of one of the businesses in the complex had moved the backpack outside after observing smoke coming from one of the pockets after the explosion.
While investigating the incident, officers contacted a male in the area who had obvious injuries to his arm. After obtaining initial medical clearance from EMTs with the Grand Junction Fire Department, the male was detained and transported to the Grand Junction Police Department. The male indicated that when he set his backpack down while inside the business complex, an improvised firearm in the backpack, sometimes referred to as a “zip gun,” unexpectedly discharged, causing the explosion and injuries to his arm.
The Grand Junction Bomb Team, comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department and the Grand Junction Fire Department, responded to the scene to investigate. Two improvised firearms were located in a backpack. The Bomb Squad was able to render the devices safe.
The suspect, identified as Emmett Wells, 36, was transported to the hospital for follow up medical care. Upon release, he will be transported to the Mesa County Detention Facility, where he will be booked on the following charges:
- 18-12-108 Possession of Weapons by Previous Offender (F6)
- 18-12-107.5(1) Illegal Discharge of a Firearm (F5)
- 18-12-106(1)(b) Prohibited Use (M2)
- 18-12-105(1)(b) Unlawfully Carrying a Concealed Weapon (M2)
No booking photo is available at this time.
More than a dozen public safety personnel worked on this incident for several hours. North Avenue was blocked in both directions, and several residents and employees of adjacent businesses in the area were displaced while the situation was made safe. We appreciate the patience and cooperation of everyone affected while we investigated.