Police: Four Sheriff deputies, two GJPD officers involved in I-70 fatal shooting

Four Mesa County Sheriff’s Department law enforcement officers and two officers from the Grand Junction Police Department who were involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect on Interstate 70 on July 10, will soon return to duty.

A joint release from both law enforcement agencies on Tuesday listed the names of the officers who were involved in the shooting of 36-year-old Shawn Maurice Payne of Lakewood.

They are: Cpl. Jamie Pennay; Cpl. Marco Montz; Deputy Blake McClellan; and Deputy Garth Cowley, all of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. Officers Caleb Church and Tom Rayside of the Grand Junction Police Department also were involved in the incident.

The law enforcement officials currently are on paid administrative leave. Interviews with law enforcement involved in the shooting are nearly completed so the heads of both departments will soon approve the officers and deputies to duty, the release said.

An investigation by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team is ongoing and once completed the investigation will be forwarded to Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger for review.


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