Police look for shooting motive
Two victims of a Friday night shooting in Orchard Mesa were both upgraded to good condition Sunday night, according to an official at St. Mary’s Hospital.
Clinton Waters, 24, was shot three times in the abdomen. Anthony Garcia, 36, was shot in a thigh and in the ribs. The shootings occurred at Garcia’s home, 297 Boston Lane, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department. Both had surgery Saturday.
The suspected shooter is Joshua Ray Perez, 22, of Parachute. Perez is being held without bond on suspicion of attempted murder and first-
His brother, Tommy Lee Perez, who is listed as living at the same address, 52 Lodgepole Circle, Parachute, is in Mesa County Jail in lieu of $1 million bond on suspicion of being an accessory to commit second-degree murder and accessory to commit first-degree assault.
A third person is at large. He is described by two witnesses in Perezes’ arrest affidavit as a Hispanic male who was seen leaving the scene that night with the Perez brothers.
Spokesman Chuck Warner for the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department said he didn’t know whether investigators had tracked down the third suspect. Warner said investigators did not want to release identifying information about the third man because it might cause him to flee.
Police were tight-lipped on the connection between Joshua Perez and the victims but are interviewing more people in what Warner called a “tangled mess.”
“We’ll have to wait until we interview a lot more people” about a motive, he said.
According to the arrest affidavit, Tommy Lee Perez, Joshua Perez and the third man arrived at their friends’ Boston Lane home, where the brothers argued and Joshua Perez punched Tommy Perez in the mouth. Garcia told police that Joshua Perez then pulled out a gun and shot Waters and Garcia, the affidavit said.
Warner said investigators who started shifts early Friday morning worked up to 36 hours on the case, connecting the suspects with a cell phone that was left at the scene and a gun that someone tried to dump in the Colorado River, and by interviewing victims and finally tracking down two of the suspects in Rifle.
Tommy Perez was receiving stitches at a hospital in Rifle, where Rifle police contacted him, his brother and their father, the arrest affidavit said.
Finding a suspect or suspect within 24 to 48 hours is often crucial to solving a shooting, Warner said.
“Not a single one made it to bed on Friday,” he said of investigators. “These guys did a wonderful job.”
According to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Tommy Perez is serving three years of probation for pleading guilty in October 2007 to felony menacing with a real or simulated weapon in Loveland.
He also has been arrested on suspicion of failure to appear in court, possessing narcotic equipment, cruelty to children, domestic violence and first-degree assault in connection with incidents in Loveland and Fort Collins dating to 2002.
Joshua Perez does not have a criminal record in Colorado, according to CBI.