Northern Colorado shooting task force ups reward to $50,000, adds more police, reports two more shootings | MyWindsorNow.com

Northern Colorado shooting task force ups reward to $50,000, adds more police, reports two more shootings

Joe Moylan
jmoylan@greeleytribune.com

David Moore, spokesman for the special task force investigating the shootings in northern Colorado, speaks during a news conference Thursday morning at the Loveland Police Department.

The special task force investigating a string of roadside shootings in northern Colorado is offering a $50,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

On Thursday, David Moore, spokesman for the task force, hosted a news conference at Loveland Police Department, 810 E. 10th St., to provide the public with an update about the investigation. In addition to announcing the Federal Bureau of Investigation has upped the reward to $50,000 from $20,000, Moore said the task force is investigating two more shootings that occurred Sunday in Larimer County.

Employees working at the Banner Fort Collins Medical Center, 4700 Lady Moon Dr., reported to Fort Collins police that an unspecified portion of the building had been damaged by gunfire. The building was occupied at the site of that damage, but no one inside the hospital was injured, according to a task force news release.

Officials at Cottonwood Plains Elementary School, 525 Turman Drive in Fort Collins, reported Sunday to the Larimer County Sheriff's Office that the school also had been damaged by gunfire. No one was in the school at the time of the shooting, Moore said Thursday.

““In so many cases like these, there may be several people who have information and believe that someone else has already come forward with that same information. Please do not make that assumption.” David Moore Task force spokesman

Although the recent shootings don't appear to be connected to the four previous shootings in April, May and June on Interstate 25, in Windsor and in Loveland, respectively, Moore said the task force would be remiss if it didn't investigate the recent incidents.

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In addition to the reward and the announcement about the two shootings over the weekend, Moore said the task force is interested in speaking with an anonymous tipster who provided information as recently as Aug. 17.

"Task force investigators have followed up on the information you provided, however, more information is needed," Moore said, reading from the task force news release. "You are encouraged to contact the task force again, by any method you are comfortable with, and give specific details to support why you believe what you have already reported is accurate."

The task force also encourages anyone with information about the four shootings to come forward, no matter how obvious or trivial their information might seem.

"In so many cases like these, there may be several people who have information and believe that someone else has already come forward with that same information," Moore said. "Please do not make that assumption; come forward with the information you have whether or not you think someone else has already done so."

That request for information includes tips regarding the faded orange 1973-79 Chevrolet or GMC pickup suspected to be tied to the shootings that occurred June 3 in Loveland.

The task force continues to monitor incidents of shattered windows in the region — notably in Phoenix — and reports of random shootings throughout the country, Moore said. To date, the task force has not acquired any physical or forensic evidence connecting any other incidents to the four shootings in northern Colorado.

Last, Moore said three additional agencies have joined the task force, including the Greeley Police Department, Fort Collins Police Services and the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner said he has provided a detective on a part-time basis to help the task force run down leads.

In total, there are 26 officers and other law enforcement personnel assigned to the task force from Greeley, Windsor, Loveland and Fort Collins police; the Weld and Larimer sheriff's offices; the Weld and Larimer district attorney's offices; Colorado State Patrol; the Colorado Bureau of Investigation; the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; and the FBI.

The string of shootings under investigation by the task force began about 11:15 p.m. April 22 when Milliken resident Cori Romero was shot in the neck while merging onto southbound I-25 from Harmony Road in Larimer County. Romero survived the shooting.

About 10:15 a.m. May 18, John Jacoby was shot and killed while riding his bicycle near the intersection of Weld County roads 15 and 72 in Windsor. Those two shootings have been linked by unspecified evidence.

About 10:30 p.m. June 3, an unnamed person riding a motorcycle was shot at near the intersection of Denver Drive and E. 18th Street in Loveland. That person was not injured.

About 15 minutes later that night, William Connole was shot and killed while standing at the intersection of East 1st Street and North St. Louis Avenue in Loveland. The task force has unspecified evidence linking the two Loveland shootings. However, the task force has not yet linked all four shootings together.

All of the shootings happened within about 15 miles of each other.

Northern Colorado special task force investigative efforts to date

Processed 340,385 cell phone numbers

Followed up on 2,550 leads

Conducted more than 500 interviews

Investigated 748 vehicles

Examined more than 100 videos from businesses in the vicinity of the four shootings

Identified and cleared 10 persons of interest

— Residents who might have information about any of the four shootings are asked to contact the special task force no matter how obvious or trivial that piece of information may seem. Tips may be submitted by calling the task force tip line at (970) 498-5595 or by emailing taskforce@larimer.org.

Residents may request to remain anonymous. Information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for the shootings may be eligible for a $50,000 reward from the FBI.

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