Man shot in Hayden after allegedly stealing four-wheeler |

Man shot in Hayden after allegedly stealing four-wheeler

HAYDEN — A West Routt man was shot Saturday morning after allegedly stealing a four-wheeler in Hayden.

At first, Hayden Police Department officers and Routt County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a burglary on the west end of town at 8:30 a.m., according to Chief Greg Tuliszewski. 

A 21-year-old man reportedly had broken into a barn and driven off the four-wheeler. The name of the suspect is not being released because he has not been taken into custody yet. 

Law enforcement had just arrived on scene when they received a notification of a shooting in the 400 block of South Third Street, just a few blocks away. Officers and deputies arrived within minutes and found a man on a four-wheeler with what appeared to be pellet wounds on his lower back and elbow, according to Tuliszewski. 

A juvenile male, whose family owned the four-wheeler, noticed the man driving by, according to Tuliszewski. The juvenile had a 12-gauge shotgun in his truck filled with birdshot, small pellets used for hunting. He felt threatened by the burglary suspect, so he shot him in what he claimed to be an act of self-defense.

West Routt Fire Protection District firefighters stabilized the wounded man and transported him to the UCHealth Yampa Valley Medical Center. 

“None of the injuries are life-threatening, and he will be released shortly,” Tuliszewski said Saturday afternoon, adding the man will be taken into custody following his release. 

Police have not determined a motive for the burglary yet, but an investigation is ongoing.

“We have no conclusive evidence, but I suspect there were other substances (drugs) involved,” Tuliszewski said.

The case has been brought to the district attorney’s office, according to Tuliszewski. Attorneys will determine what action, if any, will be taken against the juvenile who shot the man. 

Tuliszewski applauded the collaborative effort between the multiple first responder agencies that responded within minutes to the incident.

“It was a good team, interagency effort,” he said. 

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