January 26, 2015: The names of two suspects in Pueblo’s officer involved shooting near Praise Assembly yesterday are being confirmed as 26-year-old Orlando Lopez and 22-year-old Roberto Rodriquez-Garcia.
Garcia was taken into custody for Menacing and Burglary after a short pursuit. Lopez fled from the vehicle into the prairies near the church. Lopez was fatally wounded during the incident.
Because the event involved the firing of weapons by law enforcement, the 10th Judicial District Critical Incident Team (CIT) was immediately activated and it’s members responded to the scene. The CIT purpose is to objectively investigate officer involved incidents that result in death. Agencies in the CIT include Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol, Pueblo County District Attorney’s Office, Colorado Bureau of Investigation and Pueblo Police Department. The CIT has been able to substantiate witness statements that Lopez fired his weapon at approaching law enforcement officers and that multiple officers returned fire. The investigation is a large collaborative effort and is ongoing.
Body and dashboard cameras captured the incident; all of the footage is being handled as evidence. Additionally, interviews with witnesses, law enforcement, and other parties with information regarding the shooting or the home invasion leading up to the shooting are ongoing.
The crime scene is currently being processed and remains secured until investigators are certain all evidence is collected. The Pueblo regional mobile command unit was utilized overnight but has been released from the scene.
Any witnesses or individuals with information related to this case can contact the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office at 719/583-6250.
December 31, 2014
December 31, 2014: A second suspect from an early morning Christmas home invasion is in custody thanks to coordination between the Colorado Springs Police Department, Crimestoppers, and Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office. Donte Tate was arrested yesterday by Colorado Springs Police Officers and is now in custody at the Pueblo County Detention Facility. A third suspect, 29-year-old Rajohn Ledbetter-Fuller is still at-large and is considered armed and dangerous.
PCSO detectives would like to remind anyone with information on the location of Ledbetter-Fuller or details about this crime to call Crimestoppers. Ledbetter-Fuller has outstanding felony warrants for 1st Degree Burglary and Aggravated Robbery and a reward may be offered for his capture.
Both men are the suspects in an overnight break-in at a home on McCulloch Blvd in Pueblo West. The residents dialed 911 and hid while the armed men forced entry into their home and stole several items. A female accomplice, DeeDee Winstead was driving a stolen vehicle in the area and was taken into custody that morning.
If you see the suspect, DO NOT approach him. During investigation detectives learned he will likely be armed and could be dangerous.
Anyone with information can remain anonymous and possibly receive a reward for information that leads to the capture of Ledbetter-Fuller by calling Pueblo Crimestoppers @ 719 542-STOP (7867).
December 15, 2014
On December 13, 2014 just before 11 am deputies were dispatched to a trailer home at the 4300 block of Goodnight Ave on a reported home invasion. Once on scene, deputies learned a male, who identified himself as “Wolf” entered the residence uninvited. The man said he was at the residence looking for Fred. When Fred’s roommate answered the door, he told “Wolf” he didn’t think Fred was home.
When the roommate went to Fred’s bedroom to double check, he discovered the suspect had followed him through the house and was right behind him. With Fred not home, the roommate then insisted the intruder leave. Before the unwanted man left, he punched the resident in the face knocking him to the ground, threatening him if he told anyone about the incident.
Deputies began a canvas of the area and discovered that Wolf’s mother also lives in the trailer court. Deputies met with her and were able to confirm the suspect was the woman’s son, 42-year-old Michael Martinez aka Wolfy.
With the suspect’s identity deputies were able to find Martinez’s address and made contact with a very intoxicated Michael Martinez at his home in the city. Martinez was placed into custody for second-degree burglary and third-degree assault without incident.
November 28, 2014
November 28, 2014: On Thursday evening at approximately 9:20, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to the 25000 Block of Hwy 50 East on a shooting. Upon arrival they were directed to a bedroom where an unconscious 18 year-old woman lay on the floor.
The woman was transported to a local hospital where she was treated for the life-threatening injuries. Detectives were notified early this morning that the female died from those injuries.
The shooting was reported by the woman’s 40-year-old ex-boyfriend and roommate. The man told the 911 operator that he shot the woman while she was attacking him with a weapon. He was treated for injuries at the scene.
The incident is being investigated as a homicide and, although no one has been taken into custody at this time, the crime scene remains under the control of the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.
This investigation is on-going and both the Pueblo County District Attorney’s Office and the Colorado Bureau of Investigations will be assisting in that effort.
November 6, 2014
November 6, 2014: At 2 am this Wednesday November 5, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to the 35000 block of Hwy 96 East to investigate a report of a suicidal male with a gun. The man, 38-year-old Brian Augustine had made threats to harm himself but while enroute deputies learned that his comments were not limited to ending just his life. Augustine and his girlfriend had been arguing throughout the day when Augustine reportedly pulled a gun out and threatened the lives of himself and his girlfriend, her two children and anyone else that tried to enter the home.
During the incident Augustine shot the semi-automatic handgun into the floor of the residence. The female was able to leave and take the children with her. Once safely outside the residence, she called 911. For a short time the suspect remained inside the residence while law enforcement attempted contact with him. Once inside, deputies smelled a strong odor of natural gas and found both fire and carbon monoxide detectors disabled. After the house was aired out, the female helped deputies locate the weapon and Augustine was taken into custody without incident.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor knows this incident could have had a very different outcome had it not been for the courage of the victim. “As an agency, we respond to multiple calls of Domestic Violence. The tragic part is that oftentimes the victims don’t realize the level of danger they are in until it’s too late,” says Taylor. “Because of the actions of this victim and our deputies this situation ended peacefully but it is an opportunity to share this important message.” Sheriff Taylor encourages anyone in a threatening or violent relationship to reach out to someone for help and guidance and believes the local victim advocate unit, ACOVA is the perfect first step toward a new beginning. To reach ACOVA, 24-hours a day, citizens can call 719 583 6250 and ask for help. The caller can remain anonymous.
Brian Augustine was charged with Attempted First degree Murder (F2), Attempted Arson (F4), Menacing with a Deadly Weapon, (F5), as well as Domestic Violence, Harassment, and Reckless Endangerment. No bond amount has been set at this time.
September 9, 2014
Pueblo West, CO: On Monday September 8, 2014 at approximately 9:49 pm the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office received a call from a Pueblo Police Officer that had just got off duty and was returning to their residence in Pueblo West in their personal vehicle, still in uniform. The officer was following a vehicle driving erratically and had followed the vehicle to 1033 Wild Wind Place. While the officer was following they were attempting to radio the information to sheriff’s dispatch but were not able to get the correct channel. The officer made contacted with the driver later identified as 26 year old Christina Furber. As the officer was attempting to identify Christina, a struggle ensued and Christina pulled a large caliber revolver from her purse and fired at the officer. The officer returned fire and the suspect fled to the south of the residence near an open field. The officer was not shot and at this time, it does not appear that Christina was shot either.
A reverse 911 was made to area residences to lock their doors and stay inside. Sheriff’s deputies, K-9 and tactical team members are actively searching the area for Christina and she is considered armed and dangerous. Christina was last seen wearing a torn pink shirt and blue jeans and has short red hair. Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Christina is asked to contact the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office or Crime Stoppers and should not attempt to contact her on their own. People living in the area are asked to call 911 with anything suspicious.
Detectives continue to process the scene and are expected to be there for several hours. Detectives are seeking an arrest warrant for Christina with a charge of 1st Degree Attempted Murder of a Peace Officer. Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor has committed all office resources and will make every effort to take Christina into custody as quickly and safely as possible.
August 27, 2014
Pueblo West, CO: At approximately 6:30 pm, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a reported suicidal 35-year-old male in Pueblo West on Monday. Deputies received information that the 35-year-old sent a series of messages telling family members goodbye. Deputies ascertained the 35-year-old male subject was armed in the Pueblo West residence. After approximately 30 minutes of knocking and announcing with no response, deputies entered the residence and found the male coming out of an upstairs bedroom. The deputies encountered the subject who was armed with a fully-loaded Glock 9mm handgun and was refusing to place the gun down. After the male failed to comply with several verbal commands, a deputy deployed two beanbag rounds through their shotgun striking the male in the chest and stomach area. The male threw his handgun when he was struck, and after a short struggle, he was taken into custody. The male was medically cleared on scene by AMR and later transported to Parkview Hospital where he was held on a mental health hold.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor says “This incident had the potential to be a deadly force case and I’m very proud of my deputies’ decision to utilize less lethal means to peacefully end the incident.” Deputies are tasked with making split second decisions sometimes involving life and death and the foresight of the deputies in this case, proved to be beneficial.
August 4, 2014
August 4, 2014: Just before 7:00 AM this morning, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office responded to a 911 call at the Cannasseur Marijuana Dispensary on N. Precision Dr. in Pueblo West. The caller reported a man had just forced an employee into the business at gunpoint and other employees were believed to be inside the building. Deputies immediately responded and the PCSO Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) Team was called out. While the suspect was inside the building he bound the hands of employees, ripped the phones from the wall, and took a large amount of marijuana/THC products. Deputies quickly and quietly surrounded the building. When the man ran from the store, he was forced onto the ground at gunpoint and taken into custody without incident by patrol deputies.
Arrested was 40-year-old Texas resident, David Lopez. Lopez was armed with a fully loaded (30 round magazine) 9mm Glock pistol. The stolen items were still in his possession. Deputies discovered a vehicle parked at a nearby business with the license plates concealed. It is believed the vehicle was parked there by Lopez as a getaway car. Deputies have learned Lopez has been spotted at least two other marijuana dispensaries in Pueblo West. Precision Dr. was closed during the incident but has since re-opened.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor credits both the awareness of the 911 caller and the quick response of the deputies with the peaceful resolution. “This could have very easily escalated into a deadly situation,” says Taylor, “this suspect was heavily armed and had carefully planned his crime but because of the witnesses quick call into 911 and the rapid response by communications and patrol, the entire event was over in just over 30 minutes.”
Lopez is being booked into Pueblo County Jail on multiple felony charges, including False Imprisonment, Kidnapping, Aggravated Robbery, and Menacing.
June 12, 2014
June 12, 2014: Just before 2:00 PM today, the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office, along with the US Marshals Service and Douglas County Sheriff’s Office arrested an individual they had been attempting to locate for the last 2 ½ months. The arrest occurred after members of the task force recognized Lopez’s truck in the Belmont area. They followed the truck into the McDonald’s parking lot on Bonforte Boulevard. As the suspect pulled around toward the drive-thru, several undercover vehicles blocked the path of his truck. Detectives then ordered Lopez from the vehicle and took him into custody without incident.
29-year-old, Luis Fernando Lopez is wanted on several warrants including, Homicide, Menacing/Assault, and Fraud. Lopez’ criminal history included multiple violent crimes and although his criminal history prohibited Lopez from carrying weapons, law enforcement knew he often kept firearms in his possession. Lopez is being booked into the Pueblo County Detention Facility, where he will be held without bond on warrants.
PCSO Law Enforcement Captain David J. Lucero was on scene during the arrest. “It was great seeing everyone work together to get this violent offender off the streets. We knew he was staying in the Pueblo area and, working off tips and as a team with the Violent Offender Task Force, the Pueblo Police Department and the Colorado Springs Police Department, we had him pinned down before he could hurt anyone else. We are grateful for the support these agencies provided,” said Lucero. “We definitely surprised him, he didn’t have time to react to our presence and that was just what we needed to get this done quickly and peacefully.”
The US Marshal’s Colorado Violent Offender Task Force is a multi-jurisdictional group of law enforcement agencies whose primary task is to apprehend the most violent of wanted persons in our state. They have been instrumental in the apprehension of multiple suspects throughout Colorado. Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office is an active participant in this Task Force.
April 11, 2014
April 11, 2014: This Wednesday, Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office Narcotics Unit arrested 29 year-old, parolee Carlos Valdez on multiple felony charges. The arrest was made after Pueblo Parole called PCSO in to assist with an ongoing investigation into Valdez. Parole had been surveilling a mobile home on the 5000 Block of Red Creek Springs Road since they placed Valdez on Escape status through their office.
At the time of his arrest, Valdez had a large sum of money in his possession. Recovered from inside the home was a Walther P-22 semi-automatic handgun that had been reported stolen in the city of Pueblo. Investigators also seized over $3000.00 in cash and more than three grams of Heroin. 31 year-old Marquisa Ann Valdez, Carlos’ wife, was taken into custody as well.
Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor knows the partnership between state and local agencies has evolved into a necessity for public safety. “We have an excellent working relationship with the local parole office. I am concerned about the state’s early releases from prison reoffending in communities across the state and ending up in local jails” says Sheriff Taylor, who has been working with other local leaders to identify solutions to the problems these offenders create.
Both Mr. and Mrs. Valdez have been charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute. Aside from his Parole hold and the distribution charges, Carlos has been booked on theft, possession of a weapon by an offender, and special offender charges associated with the circumstances of the arrest. He is currently on Parole Hold in Pueblo County Jail.