News in brief
August 6, 2005
ESTES PARK (AP) – A Rocky Mountain National Park ranger missing in the park for eight days apparently died after a fall, park officials said Saturday.A hiker found the body of Jeff Christensen Saturday afternoon, park officials said. No further information was immediately available.More than 200 searchers were looking for Christensen, 31, in the vast and rugged Mummy Range. He had been missing since July 29, when he told co-workers he was planning a routine backcountry patrol to the Lawn Lake trailhead. Visitors told park officials they saw Christensen near the summit of Mount Chiquita that afternoon.On Saturday, searchers aided by nine dog teams and five helicopters were focusing their efforts on an area where rangers and park visitors on Wednesday heard gunshots and radio clicks that might have come from Christensen.Christensen, a ranger for four seasons, is an experienced mountaineer who works as a ski patroller at the nearby Winter Park resort in the winter.Park officials said he was carrying a radio and a backpack equipped with various gear, though he hadn’t been planning to spend the night in the backcountry when he left.
FORT COLLINS (AP) – A soldier who shot and killed his wife and then himself shortly after returning from Iraq had discussed his financial and marital troubles with Army mental health evaluators, who didn’t consider him a risk.Pfc. Stephen S. Sherwood, 36, and his wife, Sara, were found dead Wednesday in their home here. The 30-year-old woman was shot five times in the head and torso, and the husband was shot in the head, the Larimer County sheriff’s office said.The couple’s 15-month-old child was with a neighbor at the time of the shootings.Sherwood, with the 2nd Brigade Combat Team at Fort Carson, went through a mental and physical screening a few days before the shootings. The evaluation at the base near Colorado Springs is required of soldiers back from combat.Although Sherwood talked about problems with money and his marriage, he didn’t show any signs of distress, Army officials said.”He was not flagged for any kind of mental health issues,” 1st Lt. Justin Journeay said Friday. “There were no indicators.”
COLORADO SPRINGS (AP) – A 20-year-old fugitive was in critical condition Saturday after he was shot three times when he allegedly pulled a handgun on police.Rodney Erwin, captured by officers at a gas station here Friday, was shot once in the head and twice in the chest, Colorado Department of Corrections officials said.Police didn’t release the name of the officer who shot him.Erwin was convicted in Fremont County for felony menacing and was in the last year of a three-year sentence in the youth offender system. Corrections Department spokeswoman Alison Morgan said an alert was issued Thursday after Erwin, who had been transferred to home arrest, pulled a gun on his parole officer and took off.Police set up surveillance at a Colorado Springs gas station after getting a tip that Erwin might go there. When he was confronted by SWAT members, Erwin pulled a gun on them, Sgt. Bob Benjamin said.Benjamin said he didn’t know how many shots were fired. The officer who shot him was placed on administrative leave while the district attorney investigates the shooting.