Suspect in Montrose cop slaying took his own life
July 28, 2009
MONTROSE, Colo. – The man suspected of killing a police officer committed suicide by shooting himself in the head, Montrose County officials said Tuesday.
Coroner Thomas Canfield said Dennis E. Gurney, 52, killed Sgt. David Kinterknecht with a shotgun blast to the chest Saturday, then shot himself.
Previously, authorities said they didn’t know if Gurney took his own life or was killed by police gunfire.
Kinterknecht and two other officers were responding to a report of a domestic disturbance at Gurney’s home. Officers Rodney Ragsdale and Larry Witte were shot in the legs.
Ragsdale, 55, was in fair condition Tuesday at a Grand Junction hospital. Witte, 23, was in good condition at a Montrose hospital.
Gurney’s wife, Pamela, had obtained a protective order against him in October 2008, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported Tuesday.
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Dennis Gurney was arrested Sept. 9 after a woman at his home told police he slapped her, choked her and grabbed the phone from her hand after an argument, the Sentinel reported, citing court records. The victim’s name wasn’t released.
Gurney was arrested on suspicion of domestic violence, assault, obstructing telephone service and harassment. He pleaded guilty to the obstruction and harassment charges and was sentenced to 30 days in jail and two years’ probation.
Jeff Anderson, who ran Montrose’s Country Lodge motel where Gurney sometimes stayed, said Gurney had been badly burned in an oil rig fire.
Anderson said Gurney wrote letters to his wife seeking a reconciliation, and that Anderson sometimes proofread them.
Funeral services for Kinterknecht are scheduled for Friday.