Suspect shot, killed by police after pursuit
UPDATE 5:02 p.m. — One lane of westbound traffic of Interstate 70 now open. Right lane still closed from milepost 2, west to the Colorado-Utah line.
UPDATE 10:44 a.m. — Westbound lanes of Interstate 70 are closed from the Mack exit 11, west to milepost 1, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation. Utah has approved the use of U.S. Highway 6 & 50 as an alternative route for all traffic, including heavy vehicles, CDOT said. Updates on closures are posted at http://www.cotrip.org.
A man suspected of carjacking a woman after an attempted sexual assault at a Lakewood parking lot Tuesday night was shot and killed by police in Mesa County this morning following a brief pursuit on Interstate 70, closing westbound traffic near the Colorado-Utah line, authorities said.
“He emerged from his vehicle and pointed a gun at officers, who stopped the threat,” Grand Junction police spokeswoman Kate Porras said.
The man’s identity wasn’t immediately released.
Porras said a radio bulletin to local law enforcement around 7 a.m. announced a suspect and vehicle description from the Lakewood incident, while warning he may be armed. Lakewood police spokesman Steve Davis said a woman told police that a man forced her into her own vehicle, a Ford F250 pickup truck, around 9 p.m. in the parking lot of a Target store, 14500 W. Colfax Ave. in west Lakewood, Davis said. She managed to get out, while the suspect sped away in her truck.
A pickup truck matching the broadcast description was spotted by a Mesa County Sheriff’s investigator this morning at West Gate Inn, 2210 U.S. Highway 6 &50, Porras said. The pickup sped away west on I-70 and several agencies engaged in a high-speed pursuit.
Porras said officers used stop sticks — devices used to flatten tires — several times along I-70 but the suspect was able to avoid them. A Colorado State Patrol trooper ended up forcing it off the interstate around mile post 1, Porras said. Authorities earlier had said the vehicle had “crashed” around 7:45 a.m.
The man allegedly ignored multiple commands to come out of the pickup truck before he exited the truck and allegedly pointed the gun at officers.
Mesa County’s Critical Incident Team — a collection of Grand Valley law enforcement agencies — is heading up an investigation.
Grand Junction police, Fruita police, the Colorado State Patrol, Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, and Grand Valley SWAT resources converged at the scene. Officers were in verbal contact with the suspect as late as 8:30 a.m., sheriff’s spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said.
Westbound I-70 was still closed as of 10 a.m., while one lane of westbound traffic may be open in the next few hours, according to the Colorado Department of Transportation.
CDOT posts updates on closures at http://www.cotrip.org.
Motorists were advised by CDOT of a possible nearly seven hour, 350-plus-mile alternative route through Colorado Highway 139 over Douglas Pass to Rangely, then to U.S. Highway 40/191 from Rangley to Price, then south to return to I-70.
Check back for updates and read more in Thursday’s Daily Sentinel.