GATEWAY CO. Aug 3 2017 — A 54-year-old man who was allegedly shooting at cars on Colorado Highway 141 near Gateway on Sunday evening was arrested after exchanging gunfire with security guards from nearby Gateway Canyons Resorts & Spa, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.
Rick Whited was taken into custody with minor injuries from the incident, the office wrote in a release.
Several law enforcement agencies responded to reports at 4:14 p.m. that a man was shooting at passers-by from a truck parked a half-mile north of the Gateway Canyons General Store, the release said.
“Gateway Canyons Security Guards were the first on the scene,” the release said. “They engaged in gunfire with Whited and were able to pin him down until reinforcements arrived.”
Dispatchers heard via law enforcement radio told officers early Sunday evening that onlookers were describing the alleged gunman at various times as shirtless, wearing a neon colored shirt, and wearing a white cowboy hat. They also described him at one point acting erratically, pacing and talking to himself.
The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Junction Police Department, Colorado State Patrol, Bureau of Land Management, and the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office all responded, and Whited was placed under arrest.
No civilian injuries were reported during the gun battle with security guards, but one officer on scene told onlookers stopped by the law enforcement roadblock just east of the Wayside Chapel not to come too close, as the road was littered with evidence and was an active crime scene. At least one car was damaged, the Sheriff’s Office press release said.
Mesa County Sheriff’s spokeswoman Megan Terlecky wrote in an email at 7:35 p.m. Sunday that investigators had not yet decided what charges Whited would be booked on.
He is expected to appear this morning in Mesa County Court.
Gateway-area resident Larry Vertrees, whose truck was at the front of the roadblock, said he was heading up to the general store to have a cup of coffee when he was stopped by law enforcement.
“I been here since ‘72, and this was the first time I’m aware of” that there’s been a shooting in the area,” Vertrees said.
An emergency shelter-in-place notification went out to 106 homes in the Gateway area to advise residents to stay inside with windows and doors locked during the incident. The notification was later lifted.
The Daily Sentinel