Officers on leave after fatal shooting

Four Mesa County Sheriff’s Department deputies and two officers from the Grand Junction Police Department who were involved in the fatal shooting of a suspect on Interstate 70 on July 10 will soon return to duty.

A joint release from both law enforcement agencies on Tuesday listed the names of the officers who were involved in the shooting of 36-year-old Shawn Mautrice Payne of Lakewood.

They are: Cpl. Jamie Pennay; Cpl. Marco Montez; Deputy Blake McClellan; and Deputy Garth Cowley, all of the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. Officers Caleb Church and Tom Rayside of the Grand Junction Police Department also were involved in the incident.

The law enforcement officials currently are on paid administrative leave. Interviews with law enforcement involved in the shooting are nearly complete, so the heads of both departments soon will allow the officers and deputies to return to duty, the release said.

An investigation by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team is ongoing and once completed the investigation will be forwarded to Mesa County District Attorney Pete Hautzinger for review.

Local law enforcement officers say they located Payne at a hotel in Grand Junction a day after he was suspected of attempting to sexually assault a woman in a parking lot in Lakewood and driving away in her vehicle. After a pursuit on Interstate 70 that culminated near the Utah border, local law enforcement said Payne exited his vehicle and appeared to point a gun at police before officers shot him to death.


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