Gangs of Grand Junction?

It’s premature to expect detailed answers about what were apparently gang-related shooting and robberies in Grand Junction and perhaps elsewhere earlier this month.

Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper had good reason to be tight-lipped during a press conference last Friday when he discussed the arrests of two suspects in the July 16 crime spree that included the murder of Jorge Alberto Carrasco at a fast-food restaurant on North Avenue. With the investigation ongoing, and now apparently involving law enforcement agencies in another state, there are strategic reasons for limiting information released.

However, the public has good reason to want answers to a number of questions related to these crimes. They include:

✔ Which of the four suspects — two arrested last week and two still at large — is believed to have shot Carrasco?

✔ When will authorities release mug shots of the suspects, so the public will know if they encounter these dangerous criminals?

✔ Was Carrasco an innocent victim or was he somehow involved in this or a rival gang?

✔ Is there an active gang recruiting effort here in Mesa County? Or did Lester Isaac Miranda-Davis, a recent graduate of Central High School and one of the two men arrested Friday, have some previous relationship with other gang members?

✔ Was there some event or series of events that triggered the crime spree here in Grand Junction July 16 and possibly related shootings in East Palo Alto, Calif. Police in that community are investigating possible links to the suspects in the Grand Junction crimes and three killings in East Palo Alto from July 13 to July 19.

✔ Is there a regular route between Grand Junction and Northern California for gang-related activity?

✔ It’s long been the belief by local law enforcement authorities and others that most so-called gang activity here involved teenage wannabe gangsters, not people with real connections to the violent gangs of California and elsewhere. Has that changed? If so, how are local agencies mobilizing to meet the new threat?

We hope answers to these questions will be forthcoming, sooner rather than later.


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