1 dead, 1 in custody in officer-involved shooting near Dinosaur
March 10, 2015
Craig — One man is dead and a woman has been taken into custody following an officer-involved shooting Monday afternoon on U.S. Highway 40 near Dinosaur, 10 miles east of the Colorado-Utah border.
At around 2:18 p.m., Moffat County Sheriff's Deputy Brent Shock and Colorado Parks and Wildlife District Manager Nathan Martinez, of Rangely, were investigating a suspicious vehicle off of the highway when they came across a male and female who allegedly took both officers hostage.
According to a news release from the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, "A struggle ensued during which the male suspect was shot fatally. The female was taken into custody."
The female has been identified as 43-year-old Georgie Hand, who is wanted in several states along with James Brent Damon. It is not clear if Damon was with Hand the day of the shooting, and Donna Zulian from the district attorney's office would not confirm or deny if he was the man shot on Monday.
The name of the deceased man in Monday's shooting will not be released until after his family has been notified, according to the news release. The man was from out of state and authorities are having difficulty locating his relatives, according to Moffat County Coroner Kirk McKey.
Hand was transferred Tuesday night to the Moffat County Jail. She has not been formally charged in connection with the incident, and a court hearing date has not been set.
Hand and her partner, Damon, were arrested in December of 2012 in Vancleave, Mississippi, according to gulflive.com.
More recently, the pair is wanted by the Chaffee County Sheriff's Office for breaking into cars on Old Monarch Pass near U.S. Highway 50 in late January, according to The Mountain Mail out of Salida, the Chaffee County Times and several other news agencies. They were believed to have stolen items such as electronics, credit cards and ski equipment, which they later pawned.
The pair were believed to be driving a 1998 white Ford Explorer with an unknown license number, The Mountain Mail reported.
Additionally, KSL-TV out of Salt Lake City reported Tuesday that a Utah judge issued a $30,000 warrant for Hand's arrest on Feb. 24. She is charged with five counts of unauthorized use of a financial transaction card, one count of burglary and six counts of theft.
"The detective who investigated the case wrote in a sworn affidavit that Hand has an 'extensive history' of similar offenses and has 'active warrants in different states for the same behavior,' Geoff Liesik reported on ksl.com.
A Gold Cross Ambulance crew from nearby Vernal, Utah, responded to the shooting Monday. The scene was not secured when the crew arrived and the crew was initially kept in a staging area, according to Gold Cross Director of Operations Scott Adams.
Hand was eventually transported to the Rangely District Hospital in fair condition, Adams said. Her medical complaints were not directly related to the shooting, Moffat County Sheriff KC Hume said.
Hume activated the 14th Judicial District's Critical Incident Response Team — made up of several law enforcement agencies —Monday afternoon to investigate the shooting.
U.S. 40 east of Dinosaur was closed for several hours while investigators examined the scene.
Deputy Shock and the CPW official (whose name is not being released) have been placed on paid administrative leave following the incident, which Hume explained is standard procedure and does not insinuate wrongdoing on anyone's part.
Northwest Colorado law enforcement agencies, such as the Moffat County Sheriff's Office and CPW, routinely work together to patrol the 4,800 square miles that make up Moffat County, Hume said.
The investigation by the Critical Incident Response Team is still underway, and the Moffat County Sheriff's Office will complete its own internal investigation to determine whether any of its policies or procedure were violated.
Agencies responding to the scene Monday included the 14th Judicial District Attorney's Office, Craig and Rangely police departments, Moffat County and Rio Blanco County sheriff's offices, CPW, Colorado State Patrol, Artesia Fire Protection District, Colorado Department of Transportation, Gold Cross Ambulance and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation out of Grand Junction, according to Hume.
Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or lblair@CraigDailyPress.com.