Stabbing incident on I-70 believed to be cause of 3-hour roadway closure |

Stabbing incident on I-70 believed to be cause of 3-hour roadway closure

Craig Press Staff Report

GARFIELD COUNTY — The closure of sections of Interstate 70 and US Highway 6 Tuesday, Dec. 4 was related to a stabbing incident along I-70, according to a news release from Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

I-70 and Highway 6 were closed between I-70’s Exit 87, the West Rifle exit, and the Rulison exit from approximately 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. 

At about 11 a.m., Garfield County deputies and Colorado State Patrol responded to a call of a possible stabbing incident in the vicinity of the West Rifle Exit along I-70.

“Further investigation at the scene resulted in the discovery that one individual had fled to the nearby hillside and had positioned himself in a rocky area approximately 200 yards from the interstate and the paralleling US Highway 6,” the release read. “Initial reports also indicated that the individual might have a knife wound. It was unclear as to whether or not he had a firearm. Due to the proximity of the suspect to the interstate and the potential for a catastrophic event should there be an exchange of gunfire it was decided early on; the closure of I-70 as well as US 6 was in the best interest of public safety.”

Early attempts to verbally negotiate with the suspect and ask him to surrender were unsuccessful, though the Garfield County All-Hazards Response Team was deployed to bring the individual down from the hillside.

No shots were fired as the suspect was taken into custody. Eastbound I-70 and US Highway 6 were re-opened just before 2:30 p.m. Westbound I-70 was opened later once operational equipment including law enforcement vehicles, ambulances and St Mary’s Care Flight were cleared.

No injuries were sustained by law enforcement officers or the suspect.

The investigation is ongoing surrounding the details of the incident. The name of the party in custody has not yet been released.

Multiple agencies were involved in the response: Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Rifle Police Department, Parachute Police Department, Garfield County All-Hazards Response Team, Crisis Negotiation Team, CRFR, Grand Valley Fire, CDOT, and St. Mary’s Care Flight.

The sheriff’s office also thanked travelers of the I-70 corridor and the citizens of Garfield County for their cooperation.

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