‘He wanted to show off’: Arrest made in 2019 drive-by shooting on highway

Hunter Sallee

Investigators keyed in on a suspect in the U.S. 50 shooting last summer, using information from jail inmates, plus a phone call from the man’s father.

Hunter Sallee, 18, is accused of two counts of attempted second-degree murder, illegal discharge of a firearm and two counts of reckless endangerment. He was ordered held on a $100,000 cash-only bond and is due in court Feb. 13.

Last July 9, a woman called 911, reporting she was under fire as she and her daughter drove home from Montrose, north on U.S. 50. A person in a white car opened fire on the woman’s vehicle, striking it at least seven times and she was cut by flying glass.

At first, the woman believed she had a flat tire, but her daughter said someone was shooting at them, Sallee’s affidavit says.

The woman hit the gas, accelerating to 120 mph, and called for help. Her daughter phoned her husband, who was traveling at some distance behind them, to warn him to stay back.

The bullet-riddled car traveled until its driver came into contact with Delta County Sheriff’s Office deputies.

A later search of the vehicle revealed bullet entry and exit points in the roof, the rear window on the driver’s side, the driver’s side window and door and the driver’s side front fender. A single bullet was recovered at the time, with more found during a detailed search.

Sallee’s father called dispatch July 13, after a Crime Stoppers report about the incident, Investigator Brittany Martinez wrote in the affidavit.

The elder Sallee reported “a suspicious white sedan” had been dumped on his property and it was possibly involved in the shooting. He further said he believed the car had been “traded” to his son for a stolen firearm, Martinez wrote.

Although the man was “adamant” about the car’s involvement in the shooting, he would not provide more information.

Sallee had become angry with his father and left the home because he called police, the man reported to Martinez, also stating “Hunter does not like law enforcement,” and alleging that his son is involved in drugs.

When Martinez later contacted Sallee’s mother, that woman reportedly said she had “a bad feeling” about the car and did not want it at their home.

According to the affidavit, she told Martinez someone dropped it off and, when she questioned Sallee, he told her he didn’t have the title and had to start it with a screwdriver.

Sallee’s mother reportedly told him he could not keep the car, a white, 1993 Nissan Sentra, which Martinez impounded as evidence.

Martinez located the Sentra’s registered owner, who reportedly told her the car had been auctioned off some months earlier and he did not know who now owned it.

Martinez obtained a search warrant for the Sentra, recovering from it a box of 9mm bullets, a sock with more 9mm rounds in it, a pistol holder and a container with a crystalline substance inside.

The shot-up vehicle also was searched, during which bullets that were lodged in its frame were removed and booked into evidence.

Using trajectory rods, investigators determined the suspect vehicle was likely driving parallel to the vehicle containing the woman and her daughter July 9.

Martinez also obtained a warrant for Sallee’s room and found 9mm bullets, a gun-cleaning kit and a prescription bottle bearing the name of another person.

That person was in jail in late August and Martinez interviewed her. The woman reportedly said Sallee was “trying to make a name for himself and in doing so is being very, very, very, very, very sloppy and stupid.”

The inmate also alleged Sallee had traded a 9mm gun for a white or light tan car, which he then tried to sell her on the cheap, the affidavit states.

But when the inmate conferred with a friend of hers, that person told her Sallee had used the car in a drive-by near Olathe, Martinez wrote in the document.

According to the inmate’s report, as rendered by Martinez, right after the shooting, Sallee went to the home of the inmate’s friend.

“I later asked (inmate) why Hunter would do the shooting. (Inmate) said he wanted to show off,” Martinez wrote.

“(Inmate) further said the shooting was totally random and he was not alone.”

The MCSO was unable to locate Sallee until his Jan. 3 arrest in Olathe on suspicion of drug offenses and tampering, the latter for allegedly eating suspected methamphetamine in order to conceal it.

An arrest warrant in the shooting was served Jan. 6, while Sallee was in jail. By this time, the friend the female inmate had mentioned to Martinez last summer also was in jail; she declined to speak with investigators about the shooting, as did Sallee. Each asked for an attorney.

The MCSO continues to investigate the case.

“Our investigations (division) worked diligently and is continuing to follow up on additional leads,” Sheriff Gene Lillard said Thursday.

“Once again, we’re asking readers and our citizens, if they know anything about this, to please contact the MCSO with that information.”

Dispatch can be reached at 970-249-9110. Anonymous reports may be made to Montrose Regional Crime Stoppers, 970-249-8500; via the phone app P3Tips, or online at P3tips.com.

Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.

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