Officer involved shootings on the rise in Mesa County

By: Alicia Gentile Email
By: Alicia Gentile Email

MESA COUNTY, Colo. There's been three officer involved shootings in Mesa County in the past year, an alarming number for our relatively small community.

The first incident took place in Fruita, when a man pointed a handgun at three officers. The next in July, when a Lakewood suspect came out of his vehicle that had rolled at the state line, pointing what was believed to be a gun at authorities.

The most recent was this past weekend, after an hour long stand off involving a gun and deputies turned deadly.

John Janes, a Grand Junction resident, doesn't believe the surge in violence will go down anytime soon.

"The Grand Junction area because of the I-70 bottle neck is going to be a bottle neck for the drug trafficking," said Janes.

Carroll Quarles, is a retired Palisade Police Chief and he feels crime comes in waves.

"Violent crime ebbs and flows and it hits every community," said Quarles.

Quarles says officers are highly trained for these types of violent situations.

"We're taught from day one that this day may come where we have to take someone else's life," said Quarles.

He says it's part of the mindset law enforcement must take in order to effectively serve the community.

"They're there so that the general public doesn't have to be doing those things," said Carroll.

And for Janes, he's confident our local law enforcement will protect the community.

"I'm gonna be safe and they're not going to miss the target." said Janes.

The Grand Junction Police Department could not comment on the rise in officer involved shootings due to active investigations.

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