Man commits suicide in front of cop after Montrose traffic stop

A man committed suicide late Thursday night with a high-powered rifle in front of a Montrose Police Department officer, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities have not released the man’s identity.

The police officer did not fire any shots, and the man who died never pointed his weapon at the officer, said Lance Clem, CBI spokesman.

The incident began at approximately 8:30 p.m. when a Montrose police officer initiated a traffic stop on a pickup for having defective equipment, Clem said. As the officer approached the pickup on foot, the driver hit the gas and sped off, and police gave chase, Clem said.

A short while later, the chase ended in the 1400 block of North First Street, Montrose Police Chief Tom Chinn said.

The pickup driver exited his truck and shot himself with a high-powered rifle, Clem said.

“There was only the one shot fired. The officer did take cover when he got out of the vehicle,” Clem said.

The Montrose County coroner is expected to perform an autopsy on the man.

Chinn said the officer on scene was not placed on leave.

“When we feel there is no misconduct of any kind, we leave it up to them,” Chinn said. “If they want to come back, we have counseling available. If they want to take advantage of that, that is their prerogative to do that.”

“This is an unfortunate situation,” Chinn added.

The CBI was asked to investigate the shooting by Chinn, Clem said.


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