More details emerge about Grand Junction shooter | AspenTimes.com
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More details emerge about Grand Junction shooter

Paul Shockley and Marija B. Vader
Grand Junction correspondents
Aspen, CO Colorado

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. ” After his father committed suicide, four days before Christmas last year, Stefan Martin-Urban enrolled in college in Utah.

He didn’t stay long.

The young man who shot and killed two people in this western Colorado city last weekend had enrolled in January for the spring semester at Dixie State College in St. George, confirmed Steve Johnson, spokesman for the college. He was last seen on campus Feb. 18.

“He just stopped showing up,” Johnson said. He had a “walkaway F” in the courses in which he was enrolled: chemistry, writing, college algebra, an online information course and mountain biking, which were paid for by a student loan obtained in his native Alaska.

Martin-Urban did not declare a major.

Martin-Urban was enrolled in a dental hygienist program at a college in Utah during the same time period, according to Lakewood Police Department detective Dan McCasky, but Johnson said Martin-Urban wasn’t in Dixie State’s dental hygienist program, as was previously reported.

Martin-Urban, 22, shot and killed Dr. Terry Fine, a Grand Junction dentist, and Flo Gallagher, wife of former Mesa State College President Mike Gallagher, on Saturday. Fine’s wife and a bystander, Paco Larson, were also injured. Martin-Urban ultimately shot and killed himself, as well.

Martin-Urban had no job, and he had no friends, McCasky said, based on statements from Martin-Urban’s aunt, Linda Urban, of Lakewood, Colo.

Linda Urban told investigators she had made plans with her nephew to visit a dying relative at a Front Range Colorado hospice. Family members were coming in to town.

In the last conversation Martin-Urban had with his aunt, he had agreed to go to the airport to pick up family members for the visit. When she awoke Friday, her Honda CRV and her cell phone were missing, as was her nephew.

Linda Urban told Lakewood police her nephew might have been suicidal, but he made no threats, and she downplayed it, considering his father’s recent suicide.

Linda Urban did not know that her nephew had purchased a 9 mm Ruger semiautomatic pistol and ammunition on Oct. 2 in Lakewood.

Three days after the killings, Grand Junction investigators were seeking a motive for the shootings. Martin-Urban, an Alaska native, drove hundreds of miles to shoot people with whom he had no known connection. He had stopped to fill up with gas at the Eagle Travel Center in Cameo, east of Grand Junction, on Friday at 9:45 a.m. By 8 p.m. that evening, he was at the Burger King in Green River, Utah, authorities have determined. Back in Grand Junction, the shootings began at about 8:30 a.m. Saturday.

The Grand Junction Police Department denied Tuesday that Martin-Urban’s Honda was parked in front of the Gallagher home Friday night.

“We talked to some people who saw a similar vehicle overnight,” said police spokeswoman Kate Porras.

“We have some very reliable evidence that the suspect vehicle was in a different place,” Porras said. She did not elaborate.

There’s “no evidence of any verbal communication of any sort” between Gallagher and Martin-Urban on the morning of the shooting, she added.

Martin-Urban’s father, wastewater treatment operator Wayne E. Urban, took his own life four days before Christmas 2007, McCasky said. His mother is Christine R. Martin of Fairbanks. He also has a brother, Dimitri, who is two years his junior.


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