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Cortez woman shoots from vehicle as father, daughter tow it away

Shooting occurs at Gofer gas station Saturday; second shooting takes place on East Arbecam Ave. on Thursday

Cortez’s third reported shooting incident in three weeks came Saturday evening at the Gofer gas station on Colorado Highway 145.

Police were called to the scene just after 10 p.m. No injuries were reported.

According to the Cortez Police Department, Whitney Williford asked her father to help tow her missing Toyota Yaris with his truck from the gas station at 2410 Fairway Drive after hearing from a friend it was there.

Williford found Tianna Gallegos in the Yaris at the gas station, where the car had broken down with a flat tire. Williford told police she had given Gallegos opportunities to return the car.

Gallegos reportedly refused to exit the vehicle, and Williford used a chain to link the Yaris to her father’s truck.

Gallegos pointed a gun at Williford and said she was going to shoot her in the kneecap, police said. Williford then climbed into the passenger seat of her father’s truck and instructed him to drive, Yaris in tow.

Gallegos began to shoot at them, firing one round while in the gas station’s parking lot, police said.

Williford called 911 as Gallegos continued to shoot and her father continued to drive, police said.

Williford said Gallegos applied the brakes in an attempt to break the tow chain, but spun into a ditch on the east side of the highway. Williford and her father pulled into the parking lot at Lighthouse Baptist Church.

Witnesses reported that Gallegos fired eight rounds, and police found eight casings.

Bullets hit the driver-side rear tire and rear panel of the Williford’s truck, police said.

Gallegos told police she fired because she believed her life was in danger while the Yaris was being towed.

Police found a Taurus 9mm handgun with an empty magazine and two loaded magazines and drug paraphernalia in the Yaris. The car was towed to the police department’s lot, and officers applied for a search warrant.

Gallegos was arrested on charges of felony menacing, illegal discharge of a firearm and reckless endangerment.

Williford was arrested on a warrant from San Juan County, Colorado.

Williford recently had been in jail, and during that time, the Yaris was parked at her father’s house. Her father reported seeing Gallegos take the vehicle from the front yard at the residence on County Road 24.8 in August.

When questioned, Gallegos told him she was picking up the car for Williford. The car was never reported as stolen, police said, reporting that Williford told her father that she would take care of the issue.

Williford said she had exchanged a Volvo for the Yaris and that she had checked with San Juan County law enforcement to make sure the vehicle hadn’t been stolen. She accused Gallegos of drilling the ignition of the Yaris.

Both women claimed the vehicle as their own, but ownership was unclear.

Shooting on East Arbecam Avenue

Another shooting took place about 7 p.m. Thursday on East Arbecam Avenue. A bail bondsman was seeking out a man who broke bond, and ended up shooting him in the upper left arm, shattering his bone, said Andy Brock, assistant Cortez police chief.

The man was flown to Denver to receive medical care.

Neither man lived at the residence where the shooting occurred, Brock said.

The investigation continues, and an incident report was not yet ready for release as of Tuesday.

The two recent shootings came after a shooting Sept. 15 at a residence adjacent to Kemper Elementary School.

Oct 17, 2021
Suspect in shooting near Kemper Elementary identified; arrest warrant issued