Affidavit: Uncle shot nephew over garden hose
Victim suffers large gunshot wound in leg
A shooting over the weekend in Grand Junction that injured one man and resulted in the arrest of another stemmed from a dispute over a garden hose, according to an arrest affidavit released Monday.
Joseph Latulippe, 49, of Grand Junction made his first appearance in court Monday and was advised he could be charged with second-degree assault and prohibited use of a weapon in connection with the shooting of his 27-year-old nephew, Blake Weaver. He is being held in the Mesa County Jail on a $5,000 cash-only bond.
“I really can’t ignore the public safety part of what’s alleged here,” Mesa County Judge Craig Henderson said.
The shooting happened outside Latulippe’s house at 2991 Piano Lane on Saturday afternoon.
Weaver told Mesa County sheriff’s deputies his uncle had earlier in the day taken from his house a garden hose that Weaver owns. Weaver said he texted Latulippe that he was coming over to retrieve the hose, and that when he arrived, Latulippe met him at the door with a shotgun, pointed it at his head and told him to get off his property, the affidavit said.
Weaver told deputies he started to turn away and call police when he was shot in the leg. He said he retreated toward the street, losing a shoe along the way.
Latulippe told a different story to deputies, saying he in fact owned the hose and that Weaver borrowed it last year but had yet to return it. He said he went to his nephew’s house on Saturday and retrieved the hose. He said Weaver later showed up at his house and pounded on the door, demanding the hose back.
Latulippe, who admitted to drinking beer, told deputies he opened the door and Weaver tried to come in. He claimed he yelled at Weaver to get off his property and picked up his shotgun, keeping it aimed toward the ground. He said he started to raise up the shotgun, which he said was loaded but not cocked, and it went off accidentally, striking Weaver.
When questioned by a deputy, Latulippe allegedly began changing his story and adding details. He said he must have accidentally cocked the shotgun and pulled the trigger. Asked why he didn’t close the door to protect his property, he claimed he tried but Weaver pushed it open.
After a deputy told Latulippe he didn’t believe he was being truthful, Latulippe admitted he pointed the shotgun at Weaver, then attempted to fire a warning shot into the ground to scare his nephew. He said he thought the shot might have ricocheted off the ground and hit Weaver, the affidavit said.
Deputies learned from medical staff at St. Mary’s Hospital that Weaver sustained a large gunshot wound to his right calf, and that there were pellets imbedded in the bone, the affidavit said.
Staff writer Gabrielle Porter contributed to this report.