One arrest made in cop shooting
NEW CASTLE Authorities arrested a man they believe knows something about last Sunday’s police officer shooting and issued a $1 million warrant for one of the actual suspects involved.Anthony Villegas, a 19-year-old with the alias “Speedy,” was arrested Saturday, Aug. 4, at a New Castle residence on a nationwide felony warrant.Garfield County deputies wanted Villegas for questioning in the shooting of a Glenwood Springs police officer, and the warrant provided a means to bring him in.”That was our way to get him in,” she said. “We believe he has information.” Detectives planned to interview Villegas Sunday evening, according to Garfield County Community Relations Deputy Tanny McGinnis.Publicizing information contributed to his arrest. “I don’t know whether he saw the post or heard about it,” McGinnis said. “He called and said come get me. I’m right here. I’ll come talk to you.”She said that publicizing information related to the case brought at least six quality tips. With the help of about 9 or 10 different groups or individuals, the original $2,000 reward for information on the actual suspects also grew to $7,000.”One of the most powerful tools in law enforcement is the media,” she said. “It would make us very happy if we had this kind of a response on any and all felony crimes.”The Garfield County Sheriff’s Office on Sunday issued a warrant for the arrest of 20-year-old Sergio Estebon Ramirez, known as “Smokey.” The bond amount is $1 million, and charges listed are attempted first-degree murder of a police officer, attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and tampering with physical evidence.Authorities believe he has brown eyes, is 5 feet 7 inches tall and weighs about 147 pounds. They believe he has a tattoo that says “Smokey” on his neck.McGinnis said information on the second suspect is still being developed.”Ramirez remains at large and is considered armed and extremely dangerous,” a news release says. “We urge Mr. Ramirez to turn himself in to avoid any additional violence. … Nobody should expect to shoot a law enforcement officer in Garfield County and get away with it.”According to police, an officer was on patrol July 29 south of the Glenwood Springs Airport when he noticed someone jumping off a fence. He gave verbal commands for two men walking away from him to stop, but one turned and fired multiple gunshots from a handgun, hitting the officer once in the chest from around 10 to 20 feet away. The officer returned multiple gunshots as the men fled but didn’t know if he hit either man, police said. The officer didn’t sustain serious injuries thanks to a bulletproof vest. The incident occurred near an impound lot where there has been a history of break-ins.Sheriff Lou Vallario and Glenwood Springs Police Chief Terry Wilson didn’t immediately return messages Sunday evening. In an e-mail, the sheriff’s office said it wouldn’t provide further details due to the ongoing investigation in a “rapidly developing, sensitive case.”Anyone with information about the suspects can call 945-0101 and remain anonymous.