Incomprehensible

There is no sensible explanation for the Saturday shooting that took the lives of two well-respected Grand Junction residents and injured two others.

There is no apparent connection between local dentist Dr. Terry Fine, retired Grand Junction High School teacher Flo Gallagher and their killer, Stefan Alexander Martin-Urban of Lakewood.

Fine and Gallagher died where they were shot, in Fine’s driveway, as they were preparing to leave on a Las Vegas vacation with their spouses, Linda Fine and Mike Gallagher.

Linda Fine was also shot at the Fine home, and Mike Gallagher rushed her to St. Mary’s Hospital, where she was treated through the weekend.

A neighbor, Paco Larson, who heard the shots and came to aid the injured, was shot as well. He was treated and released from St. Mary’s on Saturday.

Martin-Urban led authorities on a brief car chase about 45 minutes after the shooting. He ran his sport-utility vehicle off 26 1/2 Road north of Interstate 70, then put a bullet in his own head. He died of his injuries Sunday.

Few people locally will mourn his loss after the murders he committed Saturday. But investigators no doubt wish he had been able to communicate before he died so that he might have offered some reason for what sparked his shooting spree.

Martin-Urban, 22, lived in Alaska and Los Angeles before he moved to Lakewood seven weeks ago.

He apparently arrived in Grand Junction sometime last Friday.

But his connection to his victims remains opaque. There was no known link between him and Mesa State College, where Mike Gallagher has been both president and a professor, nor with Grand Junction High School, where Flo Gallagher once taught, nor with either Terry or Linda Fine.

One thing is clear based, on police reports: Martin-Urban was prepared for violence. He emptied his 9 mm pistol and reloaded it as he blasted his victims outside the Fine home Saturday morning. And he had a bag in his vehicle with spare ammunition and magazines for his gun.

His shooting spree remains, at this point, as inexplicable as it is horrifying.

We hope investigators will eventually be able to offer some reason for why this occurred. In the meantime, we join others in this community in offering our heartfelt condolences to Mike Gallagher, Linda Fine and their families.


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