Man angry at woman, shot up home, police allege

An Orchard Mesa man was behind bars Saturday on suspicion of firing two guns multiple times inside a home and using a sword to cut up the walls while a woman and three children were present, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department.

Gregory J. Johnston, 30, was arrested by deputies Friday after he turned himself in at the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. Johnston was arrested on suspicion of illegal discharge of a firearm, three counts of menacing, tampering with evidence and a bail bond violation, all felonies. He also was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment, child abuse, criminal mischief, prohibited use of a weapon and harassment.

According to an arrest affidavit, Johnston came home Thursday “acting weird” and became angry with a woman in the home, screamed names at her and shot a 9 mm handgun multiple times into the ceiling of the garage. Johnston, who appeared to be intoxicated, then shot a dresser in the bedroom and a cedar chest and used a hunting rifle to shoot the floor in the living room and dining room area, the affidavit said.

At one point, Johnston used a sword to cut up the walls in the bedroom, then went back into the bedroom, lay on the bed and appeared to be sleeping, the affidavit said.

Deputies were notified of the incident after the woman in the home sent a text message, saying “Help me,” to a friend, who then called police.

Deputies arrived at the home and prepared for a SWAT operation Thursday night, but called it off after learning Johnston did not have a cell phone on him, and that there was no land line into the home and no way to contact him.

Deputies were told by the woman at the home that Johnston appeared to be sleeping in the bedroom as she and the three children escaped the home. No other neighbors had complained about the incident, the affidavit said.

“Since we could not make contact with Greg at this time, deputies would contact him in the morning after he was more rational,” the affidavit said.

Johnston, who was out on bond for another felony charge, was seeking counseling for alcohol addiction through a church program, and he arrived Friday at the Sheriff’s Department with a pastor from the church, the affidavit said.

Johnston told deputies he shot his gun because he was angry, and he attempted to fix the damage Friday after he woke up, the affidavit said.


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