Man drank heavily on day he shot 3 officers

A Montrose man who shot three police officers, wounding one fatally, had a blood-alcohol content that night more than two-and-a-half times Colorado’s legal limit for driving.

Dennis Gurney, 52, had a blood-alcohol content of 0.214 percent the night of July 25,  when he shot the Montrose officers, according to Montrose County Coroner Dr. Thomas Canfield.

Sgt. David Kinterknecht died from his wounds. Officers Rodney Ragsdale and Larry Witte expect to return to duty this winter, Montrose Police Chief Tom Chinn said.

Aside from the alcohol findings, Canfield said the report showed Gurney had no opiates or other dangerous drugs in his system, or any “significant” over-the-counter medications.

Colorado’s legal standard for driving under the influence of alcohol is a blood-alcohol level of 0.08 percent.

Canfield said a toxicology report for Gurney was received earlier this week. The report was the last outstanding detail in an autopsy report for Gurney, whose death has been ruled suicide.

Gurney shot himself in the head after he shot the officers as they entered his garage at home.

Chinn on Tuesday said a report on the confrontation between officers and Gurney — the product of a probe headed up by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation — is expected to be made public within the next few weeks.

Pamela Gurney, Dennis’ wife, told The Daily Sentinel in August that her husband was drunk and angry when she arrived home from a granddaughter’s birthday party on July 25. She said her husband’s doctor had recently taken him off antidepressant medications.

Gurney had been arrested on domestic violence allegations involving his wife and was under a court order not to drink or possess weapons. He had pried open a locked gun chest at the home earlier in the day, Pamela Gurney said.

Officials have said Gurney fired at least four rounds from a shotgun as officers Ragsdale, Witte and Robbie Satterly entered a side door to a garage where Gurney had barricaded himself.
Satterly wasn’t shot.

Kinterknecht was wounded in his left side while standing near the doorway.

Gurney took his own life with a shot from a .22-caliber Ruger handgun.

Canfield said previously that numerous unspent rounds of ammunition for the handgun were found near Gurney’s body.


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