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Rifle shots result in police search, arrest

Man may have fired into Hillcrest home

A man, who is suspected of firing a rifle into his neighbor’s house Friday, fled from police after an officer shot in his direction because he refused to put his rifle down, according to a news release from the Durango Police Department.

During the police search, Ian Meier, 21, approached an officer, and he said he accidently fired the gun into his neighbor’s Hillcrest Drive house, according to the police statement.

No one was hurt during the gunfire and resulting chase. Meier was arrested shortly after talking with the officer, the statement said.

The incident began when a resident at 319 Hillcrest Drive called police around 11:30 p.m. to report gunfire had penetrated his house, the statement said.

While police officers were outside investigating, Meier walked out of the front door at 317 Hillcrest Drive carrying an AR-15 style rifle.

A uniformed officer asked Meier to put the weapon down. Instead, Meier raised the rifle in a threatening way, the statement said.

One Durango police officer fired two shots in Meier’s direction. Then Meier walked back into the house where he left the rifle, said Lt. Darrell Robertson, a DPD spokesman.

Then Meier fled on foot out the back door of the house, the statement said.

Police formed a perimeter around the house, and then officers began searching for him with help from the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office deputies and the sheriff’s canine unit.

Meier approached an officer, about three houses away, between 10 to 15 minutes after the search started. Meier told the officer he had fired his weapon while he was cleaning it, Robertson said.

But later, he told police he heard some noises, and he went out with his weapon to see what it was, Robertson said.

The police know a rifle was fired multiple times because they found several bullet marks in the stucco of the house and on a metal fence, he said.

Police suspect Meier may have been intoxicated, but a police statement did not specify if he was drunk or if he had taken a different substance.

Durango Police Department and La Plata County Sheriff’s Office are both investigating.

The police officer who discharged his weapon was placed on the customary administrative leave pending an investigation, according to the news release.

Considering all the circumstances the officer had reason to believe he was in fear of his life, Robertson said.

“Right now, it looks like he is well within policy,” Robertson said.

Robertson said the department could not yet release the name of the officer who fired the shots.

The police statement about the shooting was not released until Sunday evening.

mshinn@durangoherald.com

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