(Grand Junction, CO)
A sexual assault and carjacking suspect led authorities on a far reaching chase yesterday that forced the closure of I-70 west of Grand Junction and culminated in police killing the suspect after an exchange of gunfire at the Utah-Colorado state line. Mesa County’s Critical Incident Team’s News Release provides more details:
“The 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team is investigating the fatal shooting of a man suspected in Lakewood of attempted sexual assault and carjacking.
Just before 7am, Lakewood Police aired an Attempt to Locate for the suspect, who was armed and driving a pickup truck. This ATL was also aired to law enforcement in Mesa County. An investigator with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office spotted the pickup near the West Gate Inn on Hwy 6&50. The suspect began heading westbound on I-70. Multiple agencies pursued the suspect at highway speeds and there were multiple attempts to use stop sticks to get the vehicle stopped, but the suspect was able to avoid them. Near mile-marker 1, a Colorado State Patrol trooper forced the pickup off the side of the interstate. The suspect remained in the pickup.
Officers tried to negotiate with the suspect to get him to come out of the pickup. SWAT officers from the Grand Junction Police Department and Mesa County Sheriff’s Office also responded and used tactical steps to try to get the man to come out of the vehicle.
When he eventually came out, he pointed what is believed to be a gun at the officers and deputies. The officers and deputies fired multiple shots at the suspect, who died at the scene.
As is standard for all officer involved shootings, the Critical Incident Response Team is conducting a thorough investigation of this incident. Also, as a standard practice, the officers and deputies involved in the shooting will be placed on administrative leave while the investigation takes place.”