Teen held in Fruita gun threats

A Fruita teen was arrested on suspicion he aimed a shotgun at more than a dozen Fruita Monument High School students during an encounter at a gas station Tuesday.

William E. Stephenson, 18, of 1752 L 1/2 Road, was booked into the Mesa County Jail on Tuesday night on suspicion of felony menacing stemming from an incident just after 11 a.m. at the Maverik Country Store, 1103 U.S. Highway 6&50.

According to an arrest affidavit, several students returning to Fruita Monument after a lunch break told an assistant principal that a man driving a blue Dodge pickup pulled into the convenience store’s parking lot and pointed a shotgun out the passenger’s side window in the direction of 15 to 20 students.

One woman said she saw the driver “rack” the weapon as if he was loading it, and then pointed it.

Another witness identified the driver as a former Fruita Monument student who attended the school last year.

The witness pointed out Stephenson’s photo in a yearbook, the affidavit said.

A third witness told police she heard some of the students yell, “Shoot me,” to which the driver replied, “Quit talking to me,” or something similar, according to the affidavit.

Stephenson was contacted by police at home and acknowledged driving in the parking lot, the affidavit said.


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