Man shot to death in Fruita

Fruita Police Sgt. Kevin Paquette begins an investigation of a shooting at a mobile home at 530 Virgo Way in Fruita after a man was shot about 5:30 p.m. Friday.

A man was killed and two people were being questioned by police Friday night following a shooting at a Fruita mobile home park.

Officers were called to 530 Virgo Way in Holly Park around 5:40 p.m. on a report that a man had been shot. Police contacted a man outside the home and found another man inside who had been shot in the “head area,” Fruita Police Chief Mark Angelo said.

The man who was shot was rushed to St. Mary’s Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Angelo said detectives hadn’t yet determined for certain whether the shooting was a suicide or homicide, although he called it “suspicious in nature.” Police radio traffic suggested the shooting was a homicide, as dispatchers told arriving officers and paramedics that the alleged shooter was still at the scene.

Police didn’t identify any of the three people or their relationship to each other. Radio traffic, however, indicated the man who was killed was a 37-year-old named Henry.

Neighbor Ramona Sullivan, who lives directly across the street from where the shooting happened, identified the man questioned by police as Wayne Gert and said she and Gert have been neighbors for eight years. She said Gert’s parents own the house and that Henry and the woman, whom she identified as Gert’s girlfriend, have lived at the house for about a year.

Sullivan said she and her 18-year-old daughter, Danika, were preparing to leave their home Friday evening when Danika told her there was an ambulance at Gert’s house. She said they saw officers questioning Gert outside the home and paramedics place Henry on a gurney and rush him off in the ambulance.

Sullivan said she and her daughter got along well with Gert, who was formerly in the military, and that he offered to help them with anything, something she appreciated as a single mother. She said if Gert were suspected in the shooting, that wouldn’t fit with the person they know.

“That’s not our Wayne,” she said. “We hope it was an accident. We hope it was just something that got out of hand.”

Sullivan said Henry would occasionally barbecue and perform yard work. She said Gert and his girlfriend occasionally fought and that police had been called to the home before.

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Department assisted Fruita police by canvassing the neighborhood and responding to calls for service in the Fruita area, Angelo said.


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