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Local man arrested after gas station robbery and standoff.



Salida, Colorado





For Immediate Release.

Local man arrested after gas station robbery and standoff.


A Johnson Village resident, James Sheard, 62 years old, is in custody after a robbery at the Gunsmoke Truck Stop and subsequent stand off at his residence.  The Chaffee County Communications Center received a call at2:04 on July 5th, 2015 from the Gunsmoke Truck Stop located on Highway 24 / 285 in Johnson Village reporting the robbery.  Sergeant Jesse Cortese of the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office responded to the incident, arriving just after the suspect had fled the area.  The clerk reported to Sgt. Cortese that Sheard had entered the truck stop, assaulted the clerk, and then fled with an item.  The clerk received minor facial injuries during the assault; Sheard, a regular customer, was known to the clerk.

Sgt. Cortese, along with two officers from the Buena Vista Police Department responded to Sheard’s residence in the Collegiate Valley Mobile Home Park, across the highway from the Gunsmoke Truck Stop.  Sheard exited the residence in a violent manner, then quickly retreated inside, barricading the door.  Sheard’s girlfriend was also inside the residence, but was non-participatory in the incident.

Due to the circumstances, law enforcement officers retreated from the front door of the residence and requested the activation of the Chaffee County Tactical Team.  Seven of the surrounding mobile homes were evacuated for the safety of the occupants, and a Code Red announcement was sent to the remainder of the mobile home park, advising residents to shelter in place.

Attempts were made to contact Sheard by phone; however, his phone was disconnected.  Deputies began to make continuous announcements utilizing a Public Address System in a Patrol Vehicle, ordering Sheard to exit the residence.  He refused to communicate or comply, but began throwing objects out his windows at law enforcement officers.

Due to the increasing non-compliance of Sheard, several canisters of pepper based gas were introduced into the residence.  Sheard and his girlfriend subsequently exited the residence and were taken into custody without further incident.  Both were checked by Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services, and found to be medically stable.  The standoff lasted approximately two hours and forty five minutes.  Residents who had been evacuated were allowed to return to their homes after Sheard was taken into custody and a second Code Red announcement was sent out to area residents, advising them that the incident had been resolved.

Due to the heat of one of the gas canisters, a small fire was started in the debris on the floor of one of the bedrooms.  The fire was quickly extinguished by Tactical Team members and personnel from the Chaffee County Fire Protection District, who had been standing by.  There was no structural damage to the residence from the fire.

Sheard’s girlfriend was found to be heavily intoxicated; after being checked by EMS, she was released to her mother.  Sheard was transported to the Chaffee County Detention Center where he was charged with Robbery (a class 4 felony), Third Degree Assault (a class 1 misdemeanor), Failure to leave the Premises Upon Request (a class 2 misdemeanor) and Theft (a class 1 petty offense).  His bond was set at $5000.

Agencies assisting the Chaffee County Sheriff’s Office in this incident included the Buena Vista Police Department, Chaffee County Fire Protection District, Chaffee County Emergency Medical Services, and Sangre De Cristo Electric.