An hours-long standoff with law enforcement in an Orchard Mesa neighborhood ended with the shooting of an unidentified suspect around 4 p.m., according to Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and scanner traffic.
Communications between dispatch and officials at the scene indicated the suspect, armed with a rifle, refused to come out of the home situated on C Road between 32 and 32 1/2 roads.
Officers at the scene reported shots were fired at 3:29 p.m. and again at 4:06, scanner traffic indicated.
Witnesses reported roads into the neighborhood were blocked off by police as the incident unfolded.
Initial reports from the sheriff’s office stated the county SWAT team was called to the scene in Clifton and contact was made with the suspect.
“The situation is now being considered an officer-involved shooting,” an updated sheriff’s office report said. “The situation is being turned over to the Critical Incident Response Team.”
Mesa County, Colo. – Immediately following the shooting incident that occurred at 3210 B ½ Road, on Saturday, December 14, 2013, the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) was activated to conduct an investigation. The CIRT on this investigation is being lead by the Grand Junction Police Department.
In tangent with the Mesa County Coroner’s Office, the suspect is identified as Lawrence Sanchez, DOB: 10/16/1964. At the time of his death, he was wanted for escape from a halfway house (Community Corrections) and other related charges by The Colorado Department of Corrections.
Two deputies were placed and remain on administrative leave for their involvement in this shooting, which is standard procedure.
As noted earlier, the CIRT investigation continues. Once complete, likely a matter of weeks, the case will be forwarded to District Attorney Pete Hautzinger, for his review and disposition.