Updated: I-70 near New Castle closed due to ‘officer-involved shooting’

Matthew Bennett/ Glenwood Post Independent

Police officials are investigating another officer-involved fatal shooting that shut down Interstate 70 in both directions between Canyon Creek and New Castle Saturday afternoon and into the evening hours.

It was the second officer-involved shooting in Garfield County in just over five months’ time.

According to a Saturday news release issued by the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement officers and first responders from various agencies responded to the incident at around 2 p.m. Saturday.

The shooting occurred along the I-70 corridor between mile markers 105 (the main New Castle exit) and 109, according to the news release.

The 9th Judicial District has activated a critical incident team to investigate the shooting, according to the release. No additional information about the incident and what led to the shooting was released.

Sheriff’s Office spokesman Walt Stowe said late Saturday that investigators were awaiting the coroner’s report and notification of next of kin before any new information would be released.

The roadway closure quickly caused bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-70 in South Canyon and west of New Castle, as motorists were diverted onto U.S. Highway 6 & 24 north of Interstate 70 between Canyon Creek and New Castle.

Snowy weather and slick roads also caused accidents on Highway 6 during the detour, forcing the closure of that route for a period of time just after dark Saturday.

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, I-70 reopened in both directions shortly after 8 p.m.

Interstate 70 westbound in South Canyon. (Matthew Bennett/Post Independent photo)

Saturday’s officer involved shooting is the second to occur in Garfield County in the past five months.

In early August 2019, an armed man was shot and killed on the Colorado River Bridge heading into Rifle after officers repeatedly told the suspect, Allan George, to put down his weapon.

Following a three-month investigation it was determined that the Rifle Police officers involved in that incident did not commit any criminal violations in the shooting.

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