Distress call ends in tragedy on Road S

Journal Staff Report

The westbound entrance to County Road S off Highway 491 was blocked off to traffic Wednesday morning after Montezuma County Sheriff's deputies responded to an urgent phone call the night before.

According to Lt. Ted Meador, 911 dispatch received a "distressed call" at 6:48 p.m. Tuesday, concerning a man who was threatening to commit suicide. Meador could not confirm whether the call came from the man himself or from a family member, friend or neighbor. He said law enforcement responded quickly and set up a perimeter around the house. Shortly after they arrived on scene, a gunshot was heard.

Deputies tried unsuccessfully to vocally contact the man overnight. It was determined that the man was alone inside the home.

On Wednesday morning the MSCO requested an armor-plated tactical vehicle from the La Plata County Sheriff's Office "to make a safe approach."

Meador said upon entering the residence, "it was determined the subject had taken his own life."

During the incident, law enforcement set up a staging area for an ambulance and other vehicles at the Lewis-Arriola fire station, directly east side of Highway 491.

Although the fatal shot was fired Tuesday night, deputies kept the road closed into Wednesday because they didn't have confirmation yet and were afraid of potential threats to the public.

Meador declined to release the name of the man, but said there were no other victims. Nobody else was in the residence at the time of the suicide.

"It's just a sad day for the family. Our hearts go out to them," he said.

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