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Officer shoots man near Ignacio

By Shane Benjamin Herald staff writer

An officer with the Southern Ute Indian Police Department shot a man in the abdomen early Wednesday near Ignacio after the man charged police with a baseball bat, according to the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

Anthony Martinez, 24, was recovering from a single gunshot wound Wednesday at St. Anthony Hospital in the Denver metro area. His condition had not yet been classified.

The officer, whose name has not been released, was placed on administrative leave, which is standard procedure in an officer-involved shooting, said Dan Bender, spokesman with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office.

The series of events began late Tuesday or early Wednesday in the 200 block of County Road 320B in the area of Candelaria Heights subdivision, northwest of Ignacio town limits.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a man assaulting a woman, Bender said. The man, Andrew Rossi, was not at the house when deputies arrived, he said.

Three officers with the Southern Ute Police Department returned to the house about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday to assist the sheriff’s office with the search for Rossi and to interview witnesses, Bender said.

When they arrived, they exited their vehicles and were standing on the street when a Martinez ran out of the house holding a baseball bat over his head, Bender said.

Martinez charged the officers, and officers repeatedly identified themselves, he said.

Martinez was about 10 feet away from officers and continued to run at full speed with a bat raised over his head, Bender said. One of the officers fired a single gunshot that hit Martinez in the abdomen, he said.

Martinez faces possible charges of attempted assault on a police officer, Bender said.

Officers detained everyone in the house, including Rossi, who was the original suspect accused of assaulting a woman and possibly another person in the Ignacio area, Bender said.

A team made up of the sheriff’s office, Durango Police Department and Colorado Bureau of Investigation is investigating the shooting.

shane@durangoherald.com

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