Father held on $1 million bond in son’s shooting death
Boy’s slaying shocks neighborhood
Roberta Fonseca didn’t think much of it when she heard three or four loud pops outside her Pear Park home, because her neighbors frequently shoot off fireworks.
She couldn’t sleep Thursday night after she learned what the noises really were: A father allegedly shot and killed his 13-year-old son with a pistol inside the family’s home, a few hundred feet from where Fonseca, her husband and her five kids live.
The boy had a neurobiological disorder similar to autism called Asperger’s syndrome.
Neighbors were reeling Friday at the news of the slaying of Jacob Grabe, an eighth-grader at Grand Mesa Middle School, and the arrest of his father, 51-year-old Allen Lee Grabe. Several people described the family, which has lived in the neighborhood for seven years, as secluded but friendly.
“It blows my mind completely,” Fonseca said while standing with her friend and next-door neighbor Anna Lopez as the women’s children played around them. “I just did not expect it with (Allen Grabe).”
Allen Grabe was booked into the Mesa County Jail early Friday morning on suspicion of first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. Mesa County Judge Craig Henderson set his bond at $1 million later in the afternoon.
Appearing before Henderson via video feed from the jail, Grabe confirmed he watched a video explaining his rights but declined to say anything else. A public defender was appointed to represent him.
Henderson advised Grabe of the charges that could be filed against him and ordered him to appear before District Judge Brian Flynn on Wednesday when prosecutors are expected to formally file charges. Henderson also ordered Grabe to stay away from his wife and Jacob’s mother, Jaquette.
The shooting happened at the Grabe home at 3045 Wedgewood Ave. just before 10 p.m. Thursday. Mesa County sheriff’s deputies found Jacob Grabe’s body inside.
Authorities offered no motive and released few details about the slaying. They took the unusual step of having a judge seal the arrest warrant and search warrant affidavits.
Fonseca said her 14-year-old son, Dominique, was a classmate of Jacob and played with him. She said Dominique told her that Jacob didn’t have a lot of friends but that “he was a very, very smart boy.”
A woman who lives across the street from the Grabes said she was friends with the family. She said the Grabes regularly attended church and invited her to potlucks there.
“That’s why I’m still in shock,” she said.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, said Jacob sold candy, cookie dough and other items in the neighborhood to raise money for school. She also said Jacob ran track and showed her ribbons he had won.
“He was a great kid,” she said.
She said Jacob was autistic and that Jaquette Grabe took him to Denver for therapy. Jaquette Grabe is a teacher’s aide at Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary School and sold Avon products to neighbors.
Neighbors said Jacob’s father and mother were protective of the boy and selective about his friends.
“They kept him very isolated,” Fonseca said.
Fonseca said Allen Grabe, who owns his own business, Triple A Window Service, always greeted her and asked how she was doing.
“He was very, very friendly and outgoing,” she said.
Allen Grabe has no criminal record in Colorado.
The scene outside the Grabe house was quiet Friday, a stark contrast to Thursday night when roughly a dozen police vehicles converged on the neighborhood.
CBI agents collected evidence from the home early in the morning. A sheriff’s deputy was stationed in a patrol vehicle in front of the house throughout the day.
Yellow police tape remained up around the home, which had several Republican political candidate signs in the front yard. Allen Grabe’s work truck and a sedan were parked in the driveway, the sedan bearing a bumper stickers reading “I Love My Wife,” with a heart symbol replacing the word “love.”