St. Mary's reaches new peak

St. Mary's Medical Center.

Three people are in custody and being charged with attempted murder in the January shooting of a suspected drug dealer.

Jacob Sears, 19, Justin Sanders, 18, and a 16-year-old male were arrested. The juvenile is charged with attempted first-degree murder, and Sanders and Sears are charged with complicity to attempted murder in the first degree.

Sanders also is charged with aggravated robbery, first-degree burglary, second-degree assault, theft and unlawfully providing a juvenile with a weapon. The juvenile is charged with first-degree assault possession of a weapon by a juvenile, aggravated robbery and theft.

The shooting in question occurred at 3:30 a.m. Jan. 11, when Mesa County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an address on Jet Court for shots fired.

Dispatch then received a call that a male with multiple gunshot wounds was in the emergency room at St. Mary’s Medical Center. The man was treated for serious injuries, including gunshot wounds to the abdomen and extremities, but ultimately survived. The victim later told investigators he was at home when approached by someone he thought wanted to buy drugs. Four males in an SUV, one of whom tried to rob him and another who shot him when he refused.

The victim then ran back into the house and was driven to the hospital, he told police.

After the shooting, investigators found suspected narcotics in the victim’s bedroom.

Police said the victim identified two people in the vehicle, one being Sanders (the other was found to not have been in the area during the shooting, police said), and two other witnesses told police they had heard Sanders and the juvenile talking about the shooting.

Police also said they found photos taken before the shooting of the juvenile and Sanders posing with weapons on the juvenile’s phone. Phone data also put the juvenile in the area of the shooting.

Investigators said they found DNA matches for Sears, Sanders and the juvenile after swabbing the inside of the car believed to be used in the attempted robbery, a Lexus SUV reported stolen out of Garfield County Jan. 11.

The car, recovered in Mesa County Jan. 10, had damage that matched video footage of the shooting provided by a neighbor.

Police also said blood on one of Sanders’ shoes matched a victim of a robbery in which one of the guns thought to be used in the shooting was stolen. That gun was found in Sanders’ possession.

Police said both Sanders and the juvenile had been wanted for cutting off their ankle monitors on prior cases. Sears and Sanders are both being held on $100,000 cash bonds.

Sanders was already in jail when the arrest warrant was issued May 16, having been arrested Jan. 11 while being interviewed by investigators about the shooting.

The juvenile was also arrested Jan. 11 for cutting off his ankle monitor and booked into the Department of Youth Services, police said.

Sears was booked into jail May 18.