Cops: Man ‘boasting’ gun wounds stranger at Mesa Inn

Zachariah McCullough

A man drinking beer and watching football with friends at a Horizon Drive hotel room Sunday night was showing off a handgun when it accidentally discharged, wounding a stranger in an adjoining room, according to an arrest affidavit.

Zachariah James McCullough, 26, 541 E. Valley Dr., was jailed early Monday on suspicion of third-degree assault, reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm and prohibited use of weapons.

Grand Junction police were called to Mesa Inn, 704 Horizon Dr., around 9:26 p.m., on a report of a shooting. Juan Lara, 20, ran to the front desk and was bleeding from his right shoulder, saying he was hit after hearing a loud bang. The bullet pierced the north wall of room 136, blasting through a mirror.

Lara’s injury was described as minor, consistent with a shrapnel wound.

A witness told police McCullough was among three friends who were in room 152, the affidavit said.

“(Man’s named removed by police) said they were all watching a football game and drinking beer when Zach pulled out a large revolver from a gun case,” the affidavit said. “Zach was displaying and boasting about the firearm and (name removed) told him to unload it. Zach was manipulating the firearm when it suddenly discharged and blew a large hole in the south wall.”

McCullough immediately fled in a sport-utility vehicle, the affidavit said. Tracked down at his home, McCullough allegedly told an officer he “had no idea” about the incident and denied involvement.

“I told him,” an officer wrote in the affidavit, “that in a hypothetical situation where one discharged a firearm into a neighboring room in a motel, a reasonable human reaction to such a mishap would be that of concern that someone might have been hit. I left Zach to his thoughts.”

The affidavit said McCullough is serving probation for an unspecified conviction.

Read the full story in Tuesday’s Daily Sentinel.


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