A fight over a workplace matter escalated to gunfire late July 16, police report, with the bullet narrowly missing the alleged victim.
Suspect Robert J. Barnes later turned himself in to police. “We don’t believe there is any further danger to the public,” Montrose Police Chief Blaine Hall said Monday.
Now free on a $60,000 bond, Barnes was arrested on suspicion of attempted second-degree murder; felony menacing; illegally discharging a firearm; criminal mischief and reckless endangerment.
Formal charges are pending. Barnes is due in court Aug. 19.
Police officers summoned to Tap In Adult Skills Gaming Center late July 16 found its co-owner still covered with glass particles from the business’ shot-out window, and with small cuts to his hands and face.
The man told officers he’d stopped by his store to talk to Barnes about an issue he and his brother had noted, but found the business unattended. According to the affidavit’s allegations, when Barnes arrived about 15 or 20 minutes later, the owner confronted him about the matter and an argument broke out.
When the owner told Barnes he was fired, Barnes allegedly went to his car, got a gun from it, and walked back to Tap In as the other man bent down and locked the door.
The man told officers he heard Barnes say “get shot,” Barnes’ arrest affidavit says.
“He immediately heard one gunshot and could tell the bullet had gone directly over his head. (He) was in fear for his life and believed Robert intended to kill him,” Detective Samantha Graves wrote.
She later watched surveillance footage showing a man get out of a vehicle similar in color to what the alleged victim described as Barnes’. Per her affidavit, that person walked up to Tap In, and out of camera range, but then ran back to the car, opened the door, and leaned in. He then ran back to Tap In, before again disappearing from from view. The footage next showed the man running back to the car and driving away.
Graves during her investigation found a bullet hole in the ceiling, and with a trajectory rod determined the projectile hit the ceiling at about a 20-degree angle. Another officer went through the attic crawlspace and took a picture of it from that angle. He also recovered the bullet as evidence.
“It is important to note that, had the bullet’s path been unobstructed, it would have likely entered the residential apartment located above Tap In,” Graves wrote.
Also, if the business owner had not bent down to lock the door, he would have been struck, she determined: “It was clear that the bullet entered the glass right where the center of (man’s) head would have been, had he been standing upright while locking the door,” the affidavit states.
Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. Follow her on Twitter, @kathMDP.