Questions linger about shooting in Clifton

It’s heartening to know that the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department quickly apprehended a suspect in connection with the shooting in which five people were injured early Sunday.

It’s disheartening, though, that five people, some of whom are children, were treated at St. Mary’s Hospital for undisclosed injuries.

We can offer only our immediate condolences and hopes for hasty recovery for the people hurt in the gunfire that took place at 2984 Krista Court.

What we do know is at least as disheartening as what we do not.

The address is far from unknown to law enforcement.

Sheriff’s deputies have been called to the residence six times in the 10 months before the shooting on Sunday.

The Sheriff’s Department has answered two calls related to harassment, once on a theft report, a liquor violation and two welfare checks.

The last two calls jump out. Welfare checks refer to requests by others for law enforcement to check in at the residence and make sure all is well. Sometimes the requests refer to specific individuals, sometimes they reflect a general sense of unease for the occupants of the residence.

In total, though, they, along with the comments of neighbors, suggest that not all was well at the house and perhaps that someone was trying to give authorities a wedge to intercede, possibly on behalf of the children.

The man who was arrested in connection with the shooting, Joshua Gregory Anton, 20, has a record that includes guilty pleas to property damage, trespassing, menacing and assault charges.

The Sheriff’s Department has said the shooting was not random, which is a cold comfort given that some of the victims are children.

We don’t know Anton’s relationship with the residents of the house, but we take some encouragement from the fact that the Sheriff’s Department appears to be conducting a full investigation, witness its unwillingness to release its affidavit or a photograph of Anton. Presumably, those measures will allow its investigators to gather untainted information.

Patience with the investigation, however, is limited. A great many questions remain to be answered. Some of those answers will come from the investigation. Some, we suspect, will have to be pursued once the Sheriff’s Department completes its work.

We hope that the victims of the shooting, too, will be able to fill in questions about this most disturbing and violent outburst.


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