No gunshots were fired during standoff in Rifle |

No gunshots were fired during standoff in Rifle

No shots were fired and no one was injured in a more than three-hour standoff Tuesday near Rifle, according to the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities closed Interstate 70 and Highway 6 near West Rifle for more than three hours Tuesday to respond to a potentially armed suspect, Sheriff’s spokesman Walt Stowe said.

The man was arrested by Garfield County authorities Tuesday following the standoff and has been identified as Justin Lopez Madrid.

Madrid, 38, was arrested around 2:30 p.m. Tuesday and transported to the Garfield County Jail. He faces charges including felony second-degree assault, attempted murder and tampering with evidence, as well as several misdemeanors for resisting arrest, obstructing police and emergency personnel, reckless endangerment and violation of a restraining order.

Law enforcement officers initially responded to reports of a stabbing near the exit into west Rifle around 11 a.m., and one suspect appeared to have taken cover in the rocks on the hillside.

Because of the possibility the Madrid might have had a firearm, the first responders chose to shut down I-70, fearing a catastrophic event if gunfire were exchanged so close to the interstate. The Sheriff’s Office did not indicate whether he was carrying a firearm at the time of the incident.

Eastbound I-70 was closed between mile markers 81 (Rulison) to 87 (West Rifle). I-70 westbound closed at mile marker 87, according to the alert. Highway 6 was closed both directions at West Rifle.

After attempting to communicate with Madrid verbally, the Garfield County All Hazards Response Team SWAT unit was dispatched and successfully brought him down from the hillside around 2:30 p.m. Shortly afterward, eastbound I-70 and Highway 6 were reopened.

Early reports indicated Madrid might have had a knife wound when he fled up the hill near the interstate. But neither the suspect nor the response team sustained any injuries in the operation on the hillside, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Emergency medical staff from St. Mary’s Care Flight was at the scene but ultimately were not needed, according to the Sheriff’s Office. After emergency vehicles were cleared from the interstate, westbound I-70 was reopened.

In addition to the sheriffs, the incident involved numerous law enforcement personnel, including the Colorado State Patrol, police departments of Rifle and Parachute, the Crisis Negotiation Team, Colorado River Fire Rescue, Grand Valley Fire, and agents of the Department of Transportation.

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