Police arrest suspect in teen’s death
Junction man, 20, held on suspicion of murder, felony assault and menacing
Police have named the 20-year-old Grand Junction man suspected in the fatal shooting of a Whitewater teenager just after midnight Saturday.
Israel Jerome Massingill, of 267 W. Danbury Circle, was taken into custody fewer than six hours after 17-year-old Kiera Quintana was shot to death near the City Market on Orchard Mesa, court records said. Grand Junction Police Cpl. Bob Culver confirmed Sunday that Massingill has been linked to Quintana’s death.
Massingill was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, first-degree assault with a deadly weapon, felony menacing and domestic violence.
According to police Saturday, a woman showed up at the City Market saying her friend had been shot and she was also shot and wounded. At the time of the initial call, a dispatcher on the police scanner said the two women were in a white Jeep, that three shots were heard, and that the woman was shot in the back of the head.
The wounded woman told authorities that the suspected shooter had fled the scene. The Mesa County Coroner’s Office later wrote in a press release that Quintana was killed by a gunshot to the head.
Massingill was arrested at 6 a.m. Saturday by a Grand Junction police officer. No further information has been released about the second woman who was shot while with Quintana.
Culver said Sunday he doesn’t believe investigators are seeking any more suspects, but the investigation remains ongoing.
Massingill, who is scheduled to be arraigned in Mesa County Court today, has some criminal history in Mesa County and appeared to be on probation at the time of his arrest Saturday, according to court records. He was arrested in August 2015 on drug possession and was convicted of a drug felony charge and sentenced to four years of probation, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation’s database.
Massingill was re-arrested four months later on suspected charges of vehicular assault, reckless driving, and failing to appear. He pleaded guilty to vehicular assault in a deferred judgment in that case and was sentenced to 60 days in jail. He also was convicted of driving under the influence, a misdemeanor, and was sentenced to two years of probation and five days in jail.
Several people posted publicly on social media about Quintana’s death. One woman on her Facebook described the teen as a member of a marching band.
“Every year you were there for me through marching band always encouraging me and complimenting me around every corner,” the post said. “Every time we saw each other without a doubt would give a smile.”
Another woman on Facebook described Quintana as a talented cheerleader and dancer.
“I am at a loss for words,” the post said. “You were such a kind, sweet, and caring person.”