Monarch Pass mayhem this week

Officer-involved shooting and a separate kidnapping investigation

by Olivia Lueckemeyer and Alissa Johnson

A police chase resulting in an officer-involved shooting and a separate incident involving a subject barricaded in a semi truck kept the Gunnison County Sheriff’s office and local law enforcement busy over the last week and made Monarch Pass an interesting place to be. The latter incident has even caught the attention of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which is conducting an ongoing investigation.

Last Wednesday, February 17, a police chase over Monarch Pass led to an officer-involved shooting, setting a new precedent for the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office. The suspect, 38-year-old Roy Dale Gilmore of Oklahoma, sustained gunshot injuries and was transported to the hospital in Salida, where he was later released and subsequently booked into the Gunnison County Detention Facility.

At approximately 11:10 p.m., officers from the Gunnison Police Department pulled over Gilmore in the downtown business district of Gunnison. After providing a false name and date of birth, Gilmore fled the scene in a silver Jeep Grand Cherokee with temporary tags.

Travelling eastbound out of town, Gunnison police and members of the sheriff’s office pursued the vehicle for approximately one hour before apprehending Gilmore on the east side of Monarch Pass off of a Chaffee County road.

During contact with officers, Gilmore was shot. After being treated for minor injuries at the Heart of the Rockies Hospital in Salida, Gilmore was released on Friday, February 19 and transported to the Gunnison jail.

Gilmore has been charged with several felonies, including aggravated motor vehicle assault, criminal impersonation, and second-degree assault on a peace officer. He is being held on a $25,000 bond.

According to Gunnison County sheriff Rick Besecker, Gilmore has a criminal history and has spent time in the prison system. After Gilmore was identified, officers determined that he had numerous out-of-state warrants. A press release from the Gunnison Police Department provided further information about the vehicle Gilmore was driving.

“The vehicle driven by Mr. Gilmore was confirmed stolen out of Carson City, Nev. on or around February 15, 2016,” the press release stated. “The temporary tag did not list to the stolen vehicle Mr. Gilmore was driving.”

No officers were injured in the shooting. As is standard practice in incidents of this nature, two sheriff’s department officers and two Gunnison police department officers have been placed on paid administrative leave. Besecker explained the length of their leave could range from weeks to months.

“The duration depends on length of time concerning the investigations and the review, and final disposition stemming from that investigation,” Besecker said.

Besecker explained that the next step would be a court advisement for the defendant. The investigation into this incident is still under way by the Seventh Judicial District Critical Incident Investigative Team. Further details will be made available as they become public.

The following week, on Tuesday, February 22, Highway 50 was closed at Monarch Pass for approximately an hour and a half after the Gunnison County Sheriff’s Office, the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office and the Colorado State Patrol responded to a barricaded subject in a semi truck.

According to Gunnison County sheriff Rick Besecker, the incident took place at approximately 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday but appears to have started in Texas. He said 11 to 12 officers from the three agencies responded to the scene and a tactical team arrested the perpetrator, a 25-year-old female from Texas who is under investigation for kidnapping. A male victim is also in custody for unrelated warrants.

“At this point the FBI is taking an interest in this case so we are not releasing the names due to on-going investigations,” Besecker said by email.

He confirmed that no shots were fired during the incident, and more information was expected late Wednesday, February 23, after press time.

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