RANGELY | The man who died in an officer-involved shooting Dec. 10 was a 58-year-old man reportedly driving a stolen vehicle that struck a Rangely police officer’s car during the incident, 9th Judicial District Attorney Jeff Cheney said Friday. Daniel Pierce died during a police pursuit that ended at Colorado highways 139 and 64 in Rangely on Monday, Dec. 10.
Cheney described Pierce as being “from kind of all over,” with his mother living in California and his wife in Missouri. Pierce wasn’t a Colorado native, Cheney said.
Authorities had withheld Pierce’s name until Friday. Dr. Albert Krueger, the Rio Blanco County coroner, said earlier that he wasn’t releasing it at the request of investigators so as not to undermine the investigation.
Cheney said protecting the investigation was a factor, but he wasn’t able to release the name until Friday because of difficulty notifying Pierce’s family members, who also include a daughter and stepdaughter.
“We were able to find his mom fairly quickly, but we weren’t as quick to be able to get his wife and his daughter and stepdaughter” notified, Cheney said.
Cheney and other authorities are still not releasing the names of the law enforcement personnel involved or saying which of them shot Pierce. Immediately after the incident, authorities said it occurred after Rangely police and Rio Blanco sheriff’s deputies responded to a report of a stolen vehicle.
Cheney said a report had quickly gone out to authorities about a vehicle being stolen from the Kum & Go in Rangely, and officers spotted the vehicle traveling south on Highway 139 toward Douglas Pass.
“They made attempts to stop the vehicle and the vehicle did not stop,” he said.
Cheney said the vehicle being driven by Pierce turned around and headed back to Rangely, to the intersection of highways 139 and 64.
“There is evidence that the car struck the driver’s side of a police car, causing damage while a police officer was inside the car,” Cheney said.
He said he didn’t know if the officer was injured.
Cheney said no one else was in the stolen car besides Pierce.
He declined to elaborate further about how Pierce ended up being shot, pending the completion of an investigation by a multicounty investigative team being led by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, and working with Cheney’s office. The team investigates officer-involved shootings in the 9th Judicial District to determine whether the officers acted appropriately.
“I want to make sure that I get all the information and review it and have a comprehensive understanding of everything and then evaluate that for a decision,” Cheney said.
He said he thinks the investigation might wrap up and be made public in a couple of weeks.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Reprinted courtesy of The Daily Sentinel, Dec. 22, 2018. https://www.gjsentinel.com/news/western_colorado/more-details-on-rangely-shooting/article_044175f6-05b3-11e9-bcad-10604b9ffe60.html
By DENNIS WEBB | THE DAILY SENTINEL