Lakewood man with L.A. ties shows up in GJ; two die in ambush
Former Mesa State College President Mike Gallagher sped to the hospital with his gravely wounded friend, Linda Fine, while both their spouses lay dead, or dying, in the Fines’ front yard in north Grand Junction, police said during a news conference Sunday.
Mike and Flo Gallagher and Terry and Linda Fine were leaving Saturday morning for a vacation together when a 22-year-old Lakewood man with no apparent ties to the Grand Valley shot and killed Terry Fine, 61, and Flo Gallagher, 60, at the Fines’ home at 2631 Chestnut Drive, said acting Grand Junction Police chief Troy Smith.
Mike Gallagher’s decision to leave the scene with a wounded Linda Fine may have saved her life, Smith
Linda Fine was upgraded from serious to good condition Sunday, according to St. Mary’s Hospital officials.
“What (Mike Gallagher) had in the forefront of his mind was to save as many people as he could,” said
Smith, referring to conversations he has had with Mike Gallagher since Saturday’s shooting.
Smith said officers have not talked to Linda Fine about Saturday’s incident, but they have interviewed other witnesses living in the quiet, affluent residential neighborhood off 26 1/2 Road.
Although police were searching for a motive Sunday, Smith identified the suspect as 22-year-old Stefan Alexander Martin-Urban of Lakewood. He moved from the Los Angeles area to the Denver area to live with a relative about seven weeks ago. He has no criminal record, Smith said, and police do not know what Martin-Urban was doing in Lakewood.
Martin-Urban died at 1 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary’s Hospital after being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head Saturday.
The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has yet to release the autopsy results on Terry Fine, Flo Gallagher and Martin-Urban.
Officers were unable to question Martin-Urban before his death, Smith said.
Initial investigation showed Martin-Urban arrived in the Grand Valley at 9:45 a.m. Friday. Officers would not say how they know that because of the ongoing investigation. Smith said police need the public’s help in figuring out where Martin-Urban was and what he was doing between 9:45 a.m. Friday and
8:32 a.m. Saturday, when he fired more than a dozen shots, reloading his 9 mm pistol at least once, in the Fines’ driveway.
Martin-Urban was driving a 1998 dark green Honda CR-V with Colorado license plate GBT5217. The car is registered to a relative of Martin-Urban, but Smith would not confirm whether that relative was the same person Martin-Urban had been living with in Lakewood.
Neither the SUV nor the gun appear to have been stolen, Smith said. He said the Police Department is working with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms to identify where the gun came from.
Smith said investigators believe Martin-Urban was carrying ammunition and spare magazines in a navy blue canvas grocery bag at the time of the shooting.
While investigators made progress in trying to piece together the events of Saturday morning, they still have questions, Smith said.
“We are not able to determine any link between our suspect and the victims or any ties (the suspect had) to the Grand Valley,” Smith said. “That is the thrust of our criminal investigation at this point, to determine
if there was a motive in this shooting spree.”
Anyone who might have seen Martin-Urban or his vehicle Friday or Saturday is urged to contact police at the 970-244-3755 tip line established specifically for this case, Smith said.
Smith said officers have searched the Fines’ residence on Chestnut Drive and have searched the Lakewood residence where Martin-Urban lived. Smith did not provide the address of Martin-Urban’s home in Lakewood or the person he was living with out of respect for that family.
Police have Martin-Urban’s CR-V in custody as well as the silver BMW that Gallagher drove, but Smith did not offer any information into what was found in the homes or vehicles.
In addition to Terry and Linda Fine and Flo Gallagher, Martin-Urban also shot Chestnut Drive resident Paco Larson, a neighbor of the Fines, but Larson was treated at the hospital and released Saturday.
Mike Gallagher, who has remained in seclusion, was president of Mesa State College from 1996 to 2003 and is now a professor of business at the college.
Flo Gallagher was in the first year of her retirement from Grand Junction High School, where she had been a reading teacher.
Terry Fine was a well-known Grand Junction dentist.