Bond $1M for suspect in shootout
A man with an alleged history of violence toward police threatened “nobody would be leaving alive” if police were involved Wednesday night during a Palisade domestic violence incident, before firing multiple shots at officers at close range, Chief Deputy District Attorney Trish Mahre told a judge Thursday.
Nobody was hit in what was reported to be an exchange of gunfire.
George Joseph Romero, 60, is expected to be charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer after deliberation, in addition to three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer while acting with extreme indifference, among other charges, Mahre told the judge.
Romero was ordered by County Court Judge Bruce Raaum to be held at the Mesa County Jail on a $1 million cash-only bond.
Mahre’s statements were made during bond arguments in Romero’s case. Records were filed under seal.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday chose to remove all information about Romero’s arrest from the agency’s daily jail booking report and withheld release of a booking photo.
Sheriff’s spokeswoman Heather Benjamin said booking information about Romero was removed because of the ongoing investigation. The Sheriff’s Office late Thursday afternoon released Romero’s name and his pending charges.
In open court at the Mesa County Justice Center on Thursday, Mahre told the judge that Romero was the suspect in a domestic violence call involving a woman at 3826 G Road and was believed to have fired at least one shot while inside the home.
“A witness went to protect her and the defendant kicked down the door,” the prosecutor told the judge.
At some point, Romero allegedly stated “nobody would be leaving” and further threatened that if the police were called, “nobody would be leaving alive.” Romero was believed to have fired “three to four shots directly at officers within somewhat close range,” Mahre told the judge.
The Sheriff’s Office said in a release that sheriff’s deputies and Palisade police were called to a domestic violence report just before 8 p.m. Wednesday in the 3800 block of G Road, before gunfire was exchanged between the suspect and law enforcement.
Mesa County’s Critical Incident Response Team is involved in the investigation, the release said.
Mahre, meanwhile, told Raaum the alleged victim of Wednesday’s domestic violence call told officers she was aware of Romero’s involvement in a “prior police shooting” and has a conviction for aggravated assault on a peace officer.
Mahre did not reveal further detail about the conviction, such as where it happened and when.
Colorado Bureau of Investigation records reviewed by The Daily Sentinel show Romero has had four other run-ins with law enforcement in Colorado since 1995, most recently an Oct. 2011 arrest for driving under the influence in Routt County and a Feb. 2011 arrest in Palisade for assault.
CBI says he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of disorderly conduct in the Palisade case in May 2011 and was sentenced to 30 days in jail suspended and one year of probation.