Officer-involved shooting in Fruita leaves Loma man dead

Local News

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Shortly after 10:00 am on Saturday morning, the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center received a call about a trespass in progress taking place in the 1200 Block of M ¾ Road in Loma.  The reporting party stated that her neighbor was on her property and was carrying a gun.

Deputies with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area, as well as officers with the Fruita Police Department who responded to assist, and located the male suspect. The suspect was armed with a firearm and was not compliant with directions from law enforcement.  Ultimately, the suspect was shot by law enforcement.  Emergency personnel on scene performed lifesaving efforts until the suspect was transported to the hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.  No law enforcement officers were injured in this incident.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office has completed its examination regarding the death of
Kurt Phelps, a 52-year-old male resident of Loma, Colorado. The cause of death is multiple
gunshot wounds and the manner of death is homicide. Toxicology is pending at this time.

All officer involved shootings in Mesa County are investigated by the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, which is comprised of representatives of the Grand Junction Police Department, Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Fruita Police Department, Palisade Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, 21st Judicial District Attorney’s Office, and Colorado Bureau of Investigation.  Because their personnel were involved in this incident, the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office and the Fruita Police Department will not participate in this investigation.

It’s important to note that this investigation is in the very early stages, and this preliminary information is subject to change.  Members of the Critical Incident Response Team will conduct interviews of witnesses and involved persons in this case over the coming days. Additional details will be released as appropriate, with sensitivity to the ongoing investigation. The involved officers and deputies will be placed on administrative leave, as is standard protocol.

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