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Police question shooting suspect

BASALT ” One of the two men who argued with a clerk at the Basalt 7-Eleven shortly before shots were fired into the store was contacted by police Wednesday but not taken into custody, Police Chief Keith Ikeda said Thursday morning.

“He was not very forthcoming,” Ikeda said. “It’s making it very difficult to proceed forward with this case.”

Five shots were fired into a plate-glass window at 7-Eleven at 11:10 p.m. Tuesday. The shots were fired about 90 minutes after two Latino men allegedly confronted store clerk Bruno Kirchenwitz about a hat he frequently wears. The baseball hat reads “U.S. Border Patrol.”

Kirchenwitz said the men were angry and threatened him for wearing the hat. They left the store at around 9:30 p.m. and Kirchenwitz’s shift ended without incident. He departed at about 10:15 p.m.

A different clerk was on duty when the bullets penetrated the window. Four patrons, including a family with a child, were also in the store at the time of the shooting, according to police. They were lucky to avoid getting injured or killed, Ikeda said.

The two Latino males who argued with Kirchenwitz are described as “persons of interest possibly involved in the shooting.”

Kirchenwitz said he made a “positive” identification of one of the two men from a photo lineup provided by the police. Ikeda said police contacted the man and “a lot of his associates” as part of the investigation Wednesday.

They continue to seek the silver, two-door sedan the men were driving when they left the 7-Eleven. No weapon connected with the shooting has been found.

Police are trying to identify and locate the second man involved in the altercation with Kirchenwitz.


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