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Arrest Made in Officer Involved Shooting Incident #GVCopBeat

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UPDATE: An arrest has been made in reference to the officer involved shooting that took place in northeast Grand Junction yesterday morning.

After being medically cleared from a hospital in Denver last night, where she was receiving medical care for her injuries, Deziree Fisher, age 40, of Grand Junction, was arrested and remanded to the Denver County Jail. Fisher has been charged with Possession of a Schedule II Controlled Substance (DF4), Possession with the Intent to Distribute a Schedule II Controlled Substance (DF1), Eluding a Police Officer, Reckless Driving, Resisting Arrest (M2), Tampering with Physical Evidence (F6), and Driving on a Revoked License.

The arrest affidavit in this case has been sealed by the Court.

Fisher is being held in the Denver County Jail, and is pending transport back to Mesa County. No booking photo for Fisher is available at this time.

The Critical Incident Response Team is continuing their investigation into this incident. Previous releases related to this case follow below.

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UPDATE: Criminal charges are pending regarding the incident that ended in an officer involved shooting early this morning in northeast Grand Junction.

The male passenger of the involved vehicle has been cooperative with law enforcement and was interviewed and released. No criminal charges have been filed in reference to his involvement at this time.

The female suspect is currently receiving medical care for her injuries. Criminal charges against her may be forthcoming, pending her medical clearance.

Law enforcement is not currently seeking any additional subjects involved in this incident.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for releasing the name of the deputy involved in this incident. That information is expected to be released in the next 24-48 hours.

As with any ongoing investigation, details are subject to change as the investigation unfolds and interviews are conducted. At this time, members of the Critical Incident Response Team are working collaboratively to speak to witnesses and those involved in the incident, process crime scenes, and evaluate and collect evidence. We will continue to provide timely, relevant information as it becomes available. An update with the most current information is expected to be released tomorrow. The original release follows below.

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Shortly after 4:00 this morning, a trooper with the Colorado State Patrol contacted a vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Rite Aid drugstore at 30 Road and Patterson. The vehicle was occupied by an adult male and an adult female. The vehicle attempted to flee, and a collision occurred with the trooper’s patrol vehicle. The male exited the vehicle and was detained by the trooper, and the female fled the scene in the car.

Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle nearby and a short pursuit of the vehicle ended near F ¾ Road and 31 Road. Initial reports indicate that a deputy with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office fired a shot that struck the female suspect in the hand. The female was detained and transported to the hospital for injuries that are not expected to be life threatening. The deputy sustained a minor injury to his hand and has been treated and released.

This incident is being investigated by the Critical Incident Response Team. Additional details will be released as they become available.

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.

Update on CIRT Investigation into Early Morning Officer Involved Shooting #GVCopBeat

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UPDATE: Criminal charges are pending regarding the incident that ended in an officer involved shooting early this morning in northeast Grand Junction.

The male passenger of the involved vehicle has been cooperative with law enforcement and was interviewed and released.  No criminal charges have been filed in reference to his involvement at this time.

The female suspect is currently receiving medical care for her injuries. Criminal charges against her may be forthcoming, pending her medical clearance.

Law enforcement is not currently seeking any additional subjects involved in this incident.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office will be responsible for releasing the name of the deputy involved in this incident.  That information is expected to be released in the next 24-48 hours.

As with any ongoing investigation, details are subject to change as the investigation unfolds and interviews are conducted.  At this time, members of the Critical Incident Response Team are working collaboratively to speak to witnesses and those involved in the incident, process crime scenes, and evaluate and collect evidence.  We will continue to provide timely, relevant information as it becomes available.  An update with the most current information is expected to be released tomorrow.  The original release follows below.

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Shortly after 4:00 this morning, a trooper with the Colorado State Patrol contacted a vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Rite Aid drugstore at 30 Road and Patterson.  The vehicle was occupied by an adult male and an adult female.  The vehicle attempted to flee, and a collision occurred with the trooper’s patrol vehicle.  The male exited the vehicle and was detained by the trooper, and the female fled the scene in the car.

Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle nearby and a short pursuit of the vehicle ended near F ¾ Road and 31 Road.  Initial reports indicate that a deputy with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office fired a shot that struck the female suspect in the hand.  The female was detained and transported to the hospital for injuries that are not expected to be life threatening.  The deputy sustained a minor injury to his hand and has been treated and released.

This incident is being investigated by the Critical Incident Response Team.  Additional details will be released as they become available.

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.

CIRT Investigates Early Morning Officer Involved Shooting #GVCopBeat

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Shortly after 4:00 this morning, a trooper with the Colorado State Patrol contacted a vehicle parked in the parking lot of the Rite Aid drugstore at 30 Road and Patterson.  The vehicle was occupied by an adult male and an adult female.  The vehicle attempted to flee, and a collision occurred with the trooper’s patrol vehicle.  The male exited the vehicle and was detained by the trooper, and the female fled the scene in the car.

Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office located the vehicle nearby and a short pursuit of the vehicle ended near F ¾ Road and 31 Road.  Initial reports indicate that a deputy with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office fired a shot that struck the female suspect in the hand.  The female was detained and transported to the hospital for injuries that are not expected to be life threatening.  The deputy sustained a minor injury to his hand and has been treated and released.

This incident is being investigated by the Critical Incident Response Team.  Additional details will be released as they become available.

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.

Badge Pinnings, Anniversaries, and Promotions…Oh, My! #GVCopBeat

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The Grand Junction Police Department held our annual badge pinning and promotional ceremony this afternoon. We were also pleased to honor 15 employees who are celebrating years of service anniversaries in 2018, ranging from five years with our agency all the way up to one employee who has been with us for 35 years. Congratulations to Bev Lindsay, who spent 34 years with the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center before deciding to try something new when she moved to our Records division earlier this year!

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Ralston, Wood, Long, Raber, Brito, Espinosa, and Pena

We are also pleased to welcome the seven newest members to our police family; Officer Will Pena, Officer Nate Ralston, Officer Elijah Brito, Officer Shane Long, Officer Chris Wood, Officer Bryce Raber, and Officer Bryan Espinosa. It’s so special to get to celebrate the badge pinning of new officers with their proud loved ones. Each of these officers brings a range of life and professional experience with them to the job, and we look forward to the contributions they’ll make to this community.

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Trent Rundquist, Crime Lab Supervisor

We also celebrated several promotions today. Trent Rundquist has been selected as our new Crime Lab Supervisor. Trent has worked for the GJPD as a criminalist, primarily assigned to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation lab, since 2007. Trent is a certified latent print examiner and crime scene technician, and served as the technical lead for the CBI’s latent print, footwear, and tire section from 2012-2017.  Earlier this year, Trent was recognized by the Rocky Mountain Division of the International Association for Identification with an Outstanding Achievement Award for his work with various training and procedural issues. We are so fortunate to have highly skilled leaders like Trent at the GJPD!

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Commander Bill Baker

Additionally, we were able to promote three sergeants with our organization to the position of commander. Bill Baker has been with the Grand Junction Police Department since 1997, serving with the Montrose Police Department before joining us. Bill has experience as motor officer during his tenure with us, and is also a certified firing range officer. Bill is also an experienced detective, working with and supervising our Investigations division for over 10 years. Recently, Bill has been instrumental in implenting tools to enhance internal communication among staff, providing a more efficient workflow. He will be serving as a patrol commander.

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Commander Shawn Hasty

Shawn Hasty started his law enforcement career as a sheriff’s deputy in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1994. He came to the Grand Junction Police Department in 1998. Shawn has a long list of specialized service in our agency. He served as a field training officer and a corporal before being promoted to sergeant in 2011. He served on the Drug Task Force for nine years, half of that time as a supervisor. He is currently a SWAT team leader, a defensive tactics instructor, a firearms instructor, and a patrol tactics instructor. He will also be serving as a patrol commander.

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Commander Clint Newton

Clint Newton joined the GJPD in 2003, serving at both the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office and the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office prior to that. Clint served on our SWAT team for eight years, and spent seven years as a detective for the Drug Task Force. Clint was promoted to the rank of sergeant in 2015, and served as the sergeant of both the Persons and Property Crimes divisions in our Investigations unit for the last two years. Clint will continue his assignment in Investigations, serving as the commander.

“The internal talent in this agency never ceases to amaze me. With experienced supervisors like the ones we promoted today, we are setting our organization up for future success for years to come,” says Chief Doug Shoemaker. “Celebrating employment anniversaries and honoring our newest officers at their badge pinnings is a reminder that we’re moving in the right direction and we’re creating a culture of excellence at the Grand Junction Police Department that we can all be proud to be a part of.”

 

Grand Valley Law Enforcement Responds to Reported Safety Threat at Local School #GVCopBeat

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file (1)Shortly after 12:30 this afternoon, a 911 call came into the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center stating that there was a report of a person pointing a gun at a subject in the area of Tope Elementary School on N. 7th Street.

Officers immediately responded to the area to investigate and contacted the reporting party and the subject who said he saw the gun. While in the area, officers heard what they believed sounded like gun shots in the area of N. 7th Street and Orchard Avenue. Tope Elementary and Grand Junction High School were put into lockdown and law enforcement from all over Mesa County responded to the area, including the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, and the Colorado State Patrol. The SWAT teams from the GJPD and MCSO were also dispatched to the call. A safety perimeter was set up in the area and N. 7th Street was closed from Bookcliff Avenue to Elm Avenue, and approximately a block east and west of N. 7th Street on Orchard Avenue. A shelter in place notification was sent to 2,611 residents in a half mile radius of N. 7th Street and Orchard Avenue. Officers contacted residents, conducted a safety sweep of the area on foot, and completed searches of homes in the area where officers believed the shots may have originated. No suspect was located and no evidence of a weapons violation was found. We are not aware of any other witnesses to the reported person with the gun.

Only when officers had searched the area and felt confident that the scene was safe for the schools and residents did they begin to clear the area and help transition schools back to normal operations. At approximately 2pm, schools were transitioned to shelter in place, and at 2:15pm, the shelter in place emergency notification to residents was released. Schools were released on schedule and officers remained on scene out of an abundance of caution, with an increased law enforcement presence in the area for over three hours from the initial call. It’s not lost on us that safety threats to a school can leave parents feeling frightened and unnerved. The added law enforcement presence is intended to be reassuring and to remind you that the safety of your kids is our priority.

We recognize how alarming these types of incidents are for parents, students, and faculty of our schools. Our community has made clear that they expect that law enforcement in Mesa County train, prepare, and collaborate for an efficient, effective response whenever there is a threat to our schools, real or perceived. That’s what happened today. We train and work with law enforcement partners and with the Mesa County Valley School District to make sure that we have plans in place to quickly respond and protect. We encourage parents to view the school safety video that was created this year to share what’s happening in your child’s school during a shelter in place or lockdown. The video also talks about what to expect from law enforcement, and what we ask of parents as these situations unfold. We appreciate your patience and support.

Suspect Arrested for Attempted 2nd Degree Kidnapping #GVCopBeat

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This morning, while walking to school at Bookcliff Middle School, a student called 911 after he was approached by a male in a vehicle. The suspect, who the student was familiar with from previous interactions, offered the student candy and encouraged him to get in his car. The student was alarmed by the interaction with the male, and immediately ran away and called 911. Officers with the GJPD, who were already in the area working the school zone, responded immediately and contacted the student. They were also able to make contact with the suspect within minutes of the incident occurring. The male, identified as Lane Leppin, age 58, has subsequently been arrested and remanded to the Mesa County Jail for second degree attempted kidnapping.

The student in this incident student did exactly what we want kids to do when they feel uncomfortable or frightened by a stranger; run away, find an adult, call 911. This particular student said that he had talked to his parents about what to do in a situation like this, and he was able to act immediately. Parents, please be sure you’re talking to your kids about personal safety so they can feel empowered to act if they are afraid.

Latest Information on Shooting Investigation #GVCopBeat

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img_2299-3Shortly after midnight on Saturday, September 22nd, officers with the Grand Junction Police Department were dispatched to a report of a shooting at a residence in the 1100 Block of Main Street.  Upon arrival, officers located one adult male with a single gunshot wound to his chest.  The victim, who has been identified by the Mesa County Coroner’s Office as 21 year old Brett Ojiyi, was pronounced dead at the scene.

 After conducting numerous interviews and evaluating evidence over the weekend, we have determined that the gunshot was not self-inflicted.  We have identified all parties involved in this incident, and all subjects are cooperating with the investigation.  Although no arrests have been made at this time, we want to reassure our community that we have no reason to believe that there is any ongoing public safety threat related to this incident. 

It is critical that we continue to thoroughly work through the details of this investigation, to include additional interviews of witnesses and evaluation of evidence to determine the circumstances surrounding the shooting, in order to obtain an accurate picture of what occurred.  This is not a quick process.  As it becomes reasonable to release further details, we will share them.  

 This is a heart breaking situation for everyone affected, and our sympathies are with families and loved ones who are suffering.