Man charged with murder after workplace shooting in Delta County

A man from Grand Junction is facing a murder charge after he allegedly shot and killed his co-worker following a workplace disagreement in Delta County on Wednesday.

What happened on Wednesday?

According to the Delta County Sheriff’s Office, deputies responded to a report of shots fired at a construction site on Highway 50 near Olathe around 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday. When they arrived, they found a man with multiple gunshot wounds lying on the ground. He was pronounced dead at the scene. The victim was identified as James D. Smith, 45, of Montrose.

The suspect, Michael J. Jones, 38, of Grand Junction, had fled the scene in a white pickup truck before the deputies arrived. A witness told the deputies that Jones and Smith had been involved in a verbal altercation earlier that morning, and that Jones had returned to the site with a handgun and shot Smith several times.

How was the suspect arrested?

The Delta County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert for Jones and his vehicle, and notified other law enforcement agencies in the area. Around 11:15 a.m., a Colorado State Patrol trooper spotted the suspect’s truck on Highway 50 near Whitewater and attempted to pull him over. Jones refused to stop and led the trooper on a high-speed chase that reached speeds of over 100 mph.

Man charged with murder

The chase ended when Jones crashed his truck into a ditch near the Mesa County line. He then got out of the truck and exchanged gunfire with the trooper and other officers who had joined the pursuit. Jones was hit by multiple bullets and taken into custody. He was transported to a hospital in Grand Junction with serious injuries.

What are the charges against the suspect?

Jones is facing multiple charges, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder of a peace officer, assault, menacing, eluding, reckless driving, and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. He is being held without bond at the Mesa County Jail.

The Delta County Sheriff’s Office said the investigation into the shooting is ongoing and that more charges may be filed. The motive for the shooting is still unclear, but the sheriff’s office said it was related to a workplace disagreement.

How did the community react to the shooting?

The shooting shocked and saddened the community of Delta County, where such violent incidents are rare. The Delta County Commissioners issued a statement expressing their condolences to the victim’s family and friends, and thanking the law enforcement officers for their quick and brave response.

The victim’s employer, ABC Construction, also released a statement saying that Smith was a valued and respected employee who had worked for the company for over 10 years. The company said it was cooperating with the authorities and providing counseling and support to its employees.

The suspect’s neighbors in Grand Junction described him as a quiet and friendly person who kept to himself. They said they were shocked to hear about his involvement in the shooting and that they had no idea what could have triggered his violent behavior.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *