Man shot by police wanted for escape
A man who was shot and killed Saturday during an armed standoff with Mesa County Sheriff’s Office SWAT deputies was wanted for escape from a halfway house in Pueblo and had been tracked by the Colorado Department of Corrections to Mesa County, authorities said Monday.
Lawrence Sanchez, 49, was identified by the Sheriff’s Office as the man who was fatally wounded during the standoff at 3210 B 1/2 Road.
Two deputies — whose names were not released by the agency — have been placed on paid administrative leave which is standard procedure for officer-involved shootings. The Sheriff’s Office declined comment on a host of questions relating to the incident.
Sanchez was shot following an hourslong standoff around 4 p.m. Saturday. The suspect was reportedly armed with a rifle behind a tree in a field at 3210 B 1/2 Road. Officers at the scene reported that shots were fired at 3:29 p.m. and again at 4:06, scanner traffic indicated. It’s not known if police or the suspect fired those shots.
Sanchez was pronounced dead Saturday night at a local hospital.
Department of Corrections spokesman Roger Hudson said Sanchez had been paroled from the state system six times since 1983, which stemmed from five convictions for burglary, two for theft, menacing and eluding police. Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show most of the arrests were in Pueblo County.
Sanchez most recently was released in January to a community corrections facility in Pueblo. A warrant issued for his arrest in September for walking away from the program, Hudson said.
It wasn’t clear how Sanchez ended up in Mesa County.
“Our parole officers had a good idea of a location and were tracking him in that area,” Hudson said. “We had been tracking him and he had been seen.”
Hudson declined to elaborate.
The Grand Junction Police Department is the lead investigative agency in the shooting probe, working under the structure of Mesa County’s Critical Incident Response Team.
The case is expected to be sent to the district attorney for review within weeks, the Sheriff’s Office said.