Gang signs in fatal shooting

Grand Junction Fire Department paramedics treat a man at the scene of a shooting late Saturday night in front of the Taco Bell on North Avenue. A second man also was wounded. A third man died.

One person died and two others were injured Saturday night following a shooting that police are saying might have been gang-related.

Police responded to a call about shots being fired at the Taco Bell restaurant at 850 North Ave. about 10:45 p.m. Saturday. While en route, they heard of two people running away from the restaurant, Grand Junction Police Department Sgt. Lonnie Chavez said.

Police Department spokeswoman Kate Porras said three people were injured: one who was shot fatally; one who suffered gunshot wounds to his extremities and was taken by ambulance to a local hospital; and one who was hit by shrapnel.

Chavez said witnesses described two men, one black and one Hispanic, who fled the scene. He said it appears both men arrived at the restaurant on foot and fled on foot.

Porras said police are looking for at least one suspect, possibly two.

Porras said none of three people who were injured was an employee of the restaurant. She said police do not know if the shooting victims were customers of the restaurant that night or were just hanging out outside.

She said all three of the shooting victims were young men, and of the shooting she added, “There are indications of gang activity.”

A witness at the shooting scene who spoke on the condition of anonymity said she was driving east on North Avenue when she heard a series of popping noises that sounded likes gunshots. She then heard another noise, a single booming sound that was different from the others, but she also thought it was a gunshot.

The witness said she saw two people running from the area of the Taco Bell, one heading west and the other northeast. She said she thought she saw one of them, the person headed to the northeast, with a gun in hand.

The witness said she turned off North Avenue, onto a side street, stopped her vehicle and called 911. She then drove back to the area of the Taco Bell to talk to police when they arrived.

The witness said she saw a man down, and he wasn’t moving, in front of the Taco Bell. Two ambulances responded to the site, and each one took a different person from the scene, she said. After the first ambulance left, emergency medical personnel tended to the second person who was well enough to walk to the ambulance.


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