Multiple shots rang out in a Montrose neighborhood early Thursday, bringing the police out in force and prompting a public appeal for tips.
Montrose Police Cmdr. Tim Cox said the department has not found evidence anyone was injured, but that multiple parties may have been involved and drugs are a possible motive.
At about 3 a.m., several residents near the 500 block of North Grand Avenue called in reports of multiple gunshots in that area, and also in the area of the 000 block of North Fifth Street.
Responding officers found several people in the streets, not all of whom were cooperative, and some of whom gave conflicting information about how the involved parties left the area — whether in vehicles or on foot.
Officers and investigators also recovered multiple shell casings; Cox for now is not divulging what caliber these were.
He said the police have identified possible persons of interest and are seeking them, but need anyone with information about the shooting to call 970-249-9110, or to make an anonymous report through Montrose Regional Crime Stoppers at 970-249-8500, the P3Tips phone app, or at P3Tips.com.
Some witnesses provided information indicating drugs may have been a factor, Cox said.
“It was potentially a drug deal gone bad. We don’t know of any injuries at this time,” he said.
“These types of calls, we’re dealing with drugs and guns. Our whole investigation unit is out on it. It takes a lot of resources. This is what the Montrose community is facing now.”
He said such shootings are becoming more common in the Montrose area, even Thursday’s does not appear to be connected to previous similar incidents.
A few months ago, a man fired into a vehicle on East Main Street; its passenger narrowly avoided significant injury. Another man has since been charged as an accessory and the case is pending. In July, the Montrose County Sheriff’s Office investigated a drive-by shooting on U.S. 50, during which the passenger of one vehicle opened fire on a car carrying a woman and a child. That case remains under investigation.
“I can’t stress enough how serious these things are and what a common occurrence they are in Montrose at this time. We are constantly dealing with firearms and drugs,” Cox said.
The incidents pose a clear danger to the community, he added. “There are homes, vehicles and people (nearby),” Cox said.
“We’re going to be working on this until we can put the people in jail who are responsible. The Montrose Police Department takes these things very seriously.”