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Details emerge in Lightner Creek shooting death

Victim reportedly lunged at suspect before being killed

A Durango man who was shot and killed during a marijuana robbery apparently lunged at the gunman before being shot in the chest, according to an arrest affidavit made public this week.

The robbery occurred about 11:35 a.m. May 14 in the Lightner Creek Mobile Home Park, 907 County Road 207 (Lightner Creek Road), a few miles west of Durango.

If proven, it is at least the fourth home-invasion robbery involving marijuana in the past three years in La Plata County. Three of the robberies resulted in shooting deaths.

The most recent case involves three suspects from Texas – Michael Jones, 19, Kevin Goff, 27, and Alysse Rios, 19, who have all been charged with first-degree murder.

Jones is suspected of firing the gun that killed David Gaytan, 34, according to the arrest affidavit.

The La Plata County Sheriff’s Office summarized its conclusions about what may have happened inside the home based on several interviews with witnesses, including two who were inside the house at the time of the shooting.

According to investigators, the trio set up an illegal marijuana transaction and intended to rob the people of the marijuana rather than purchase it.

Rios was seen sitting in a black sedan with the engine running before the shooting, according to the affidavit. The vehicle was backed into the driveway, as if the driver had planned a quick getaway, according to the affidavit.

Goff and Jones were inside the home during the robbery. Jones pointed a gun at those inside the home and demanded the victims empty their pockets and hand over their wallets, the affidavit says. Goff grabbed the marijuana.

“This again indicates premeditation and shows there was no intent to actually purchase the drugs, and there was complicity with the two males to rob the victims,” the affidavit says.

At some point, Gaytan lunged toward Jones, and Jones fired his weapon, hitting Gaytan in the chest.

CPR efforts were unsuccessful.

Goff and Jones fled the residence, entered the car and were seen speeding away.

Witnesses obtained a partial license plate number, and an off-duty police officer observed a black sedan speeding northbound through the intersection at U.S. Highway 550/160 and Camino del Rio. Dispatchers aired a vehicle description, and the vehicle was found later that evening on U.S. Highway 50 near Salida.

A Colorado State Patrol trooper arrested all three suspects without incident.

“(The trooper) said all the suspects were very cooperative during the contact,” the affidavit says.

All three are scheduled for preliminary hearings Sept. 27, at which time prosecutors must present probable cause to convince a judge that a crime was committed and the defendants are connected to it.

All three are being held at the La Plata County Jail.


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