Shooter may have followed couple to neighborhood
Stefan Alexander Martin-Urban might have followed Mike and Flo Gallagher from their neighborhood Saturday morning to the Chestnut Drive home where Flo Gallagher and a family friend were shot and killed.
Mike Gallagher told investigators about the possibility that he was followed by the shooter, Deputy Grand Junction Police Chief Troy Smith said Monday.
Gallagher told police he saw a green sport utility vehicle matching the description of Martin-Urban’s vehicle make a U-turn in their driveway as the Gallaghers were leaving their home.
Investigators had “no reason to believe any confrontation or road rage took place between the Gallagher residence” and that of the Fines, Smith said.
Eliminating road rage as a possible cause, however, leaves police still trying to crack the riddle of why Martin-Urban confronted the Gallaghers and Grand Junction dentist Terry Fine and his wife, Linda, in front of the Fines’ home at 2631 Chestnut Drive.
Martin-Urban is believed to have shot at least 12 times, reloading once, at the Fines and Flo Gallagher with a 9 mm handgun.
Mike Gallagher drove Linda Fine to St. Mary’s Hospital. Her condition was upgraded Sunday from serious to good. On Monday, she was no longer listed in the patient directory.
Martin-Urban died at 1 p.m. Sunday at St. Mary’s from a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Authorities never were able to speak with him.
A neighbor, Paco Larson, was also struck by one of Martin-Urban’s bullets. He was treated at St. Mary’s Hospital and released with a bullet remaining in his back, according to the law enforcement affidavit.
Larson told police the driver of the green SUV was steering toward him shortly after Larson heard gunfire.
“Mr. Larson said the driver of this green SUV pointed a handgun at him, over the dash, and fired through the front windshield,” the affidavit said.
Larson heard a single shot and was struck in the right shoulder, the affidavit said.
A contradictory web of clues has emerged from the investigation, clues that show Martin-Urban arriving in Grand Junction on Friday, inside 24 hours before the shooting, and in Green River, Utah, at 8 p.m. that evening.
He was reported missing from Lakewood on Friday by a relative, police said.
Martin-Urban bought gas at a Grand Junction convenience store on Friday morning and ate at a Burger King in Green River that night, Smith said.
Investigators have learned that Martin-Urban purchased the handgun used in the crime at Green Mountain Guns in Lakewood on Oct. 2, Smith said.
Authorities later found a 9 mm semiautomatic Ruger handgun in the man’s vehicle.
Police found a canvas bag containing ammunition and extra clips in Martin-Urban’s car.
Investigators trying to untangle the web that ultimately brought Martin-Urban, the Gallaghers and the
Fines together as the couples were preparing to leave on a vacation to Las Vegas have no immediate plans to discuss the case publicly.
“We’re now focusing on why this happened,” Smith said.
Martin-Urban graduated from Lathrop High School in Fairbanks, Alaska, in 2005 and was believed to have lived in the Los Angeles area until he moved to Lakewood about seven weeks ago. It was then that he obtained a Colorado driver’s license, authorities said.
School officials wouldn’t comment about Martin-Urban, and his junior- and senior-year yearbooks had no comments attached to them, unlike many of his classmates.
His father, Wayne Urban, was a wastewater-treatment operator who died in December. His mother, Christine Martin, issued a statement to The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner “extending heartfelt condolences” to the families and asked that “their privacy be respected as they grieve their losses.”
As police struggle to find a motive for the killings, Terry Fine’s partner, Anthony Naranja, and the staff at their dental practice issued a statement seeking privacy to grieve.
Police still are seeking information about Martin-Urban, and anyone who might have seen him or his dark green Honda CRV is asked to call the special tip line for the case at 244-3755.