Man held in shooting of Glenwood girlfriend
A Glenwood Springs man has told police he was trying to pull a gun away from his girlfriend when it fired early Tuesday morning, critically wounding her, according to an arrest affidavit by Glenwood police.
Another witness has told police the shooting followed an argument of about 15 minutes between the couple.
James McCabe Mallin, 28, was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and taken to the Garfield County Jail. During an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon, Ninth Judicial District Court Judge John Neiley set a $25,000 cash surety bond at the request of prosecutors.
Audrey Lowndes, 40, was airlifted to St Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction Tuesday.
“The victim is in very, very critical condition, your honor,” Deputy District Attorney Tony Hershey told Neiley.
The shooting occurred at the couple’s home, trailer No. 12 at a mobile home park at 3110 S. Grand Ave. Police were dispatched there at 12:29 a.m. Tuesday. There, Eric Satre, 41, the trailer’s primary resident, flagged down officers on the sidewalk and urged them to hurry, saying Lowndes had been shot in the head and “they are doing CPR,” the affidavit said.
Inside, police first found Mallin’s father, Jeffrey, 59, and had him exit the residence. They then found James Mallin in the back bedroom, with Lowndes lying face-up on the floor. A police news release said officers administered CPR, and Lowndes was unconscious when Glenwood Springs Fire Department personnel took her to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs, where she was stabilized before being airlifted by helicopter.
Mallin was arrested on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, a Class 2 felony, and first-degree assault, prohibited use of weapons and reckless endangerment.
Hershey told Neiley a $25,000 cash bond is standard for a Class 2 felony, and noted that no formal charges have yet been filed and the investigation is still in its early stages. He said Lowndes’ mother, who lives in Cortez and was traveling Tuesday to St. Mary’s, had no opinion on the bond amount.
Hershey said Mallin has a minimal police record consisting of a minor disorderly conduct case in Snowmass Village and traffic matters in Pitkin County. Deputy Public Defender Sara Steele said Mallin’s parents live in Glenwood Springs.
“He does have ties to this community,” she said, before Neiley agreed to give her the opportunity to revisit the bond amount in a future hearing. Mallin shook his head when asked by Neiley if he wanted to comment on his bond or other matters.
According to the affidavit, police found a rifle on the back-bedroom bed, a bottle of vodka was in the bedroom, and an officer noticed a strong odor of alcohol on James Mallin’s breath. It said police also noted blood spatter on Mallin’s hands.
It said Mallin waived his rights to remain silent and told police he and Lowndes had been dating four years and were living together at the trailer. He said the two had gone to church at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah’s Witnesses Monday and afterward joined Mallin’s father and began drinking vodka. He said Satre got home around 10 p.m. and joined them in drinking.
The vodka bottle held a liter of alcohol when they started drinking and was about one-quarter full when the shooting took place, the affidavit said.
It said Mallin told police Lowndes doesn’t get along with Satre and she went into her bedroom. Mallin later heard noises and went to check on her. He told police she has suffered for years with anxiety and he sometimes believed she was bipolar, but didn’t know if she ever has been diagnosed.
He told police he found her sitting in a swivel chair with her back to him and holding his .22-caliber rifle. He said he asked her what she was doing and she didn’t respond, so he jumped onto the bed and grabbed the butt of the gun, pulling it backward. As he did so, the gun went off and Lowndes was struck in the lower back of her skull, he told police. He said he pulled her to the floor, started CPR and called for someone to call 911.
The affidavit said Satre told police that after Mallin went to check on Lowndes, they argued loudly for about 15 minutes and then he heard a gunshot