DEL NORTE – Around 8 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 27, Sergeant Frank Archuleta of the Del Norte Police Department received a call reporting a shooting involving a juvenile and an adult at 660 Oak Street.
Del Norte police officer Steve Martinez was the first to arrive and observed the adult already in a personal truck ready for transport to the Rio Grande Hospital, a short distance away. The driver and occupants were known to Martinez and rather than wait for an ambulance to arrive, the victim was allowed to be taken to the hospital immediately due to the seriousness of the injury.
The victim was stabilized at Rio Grande Hospital and then transported to the SLV Regional Medical Center in Alamosa by ambulance. No air support was available because of inclement weather.
According to Sergeant Archuleta, witnesses said a 17-year-old male and an adult male got into a heated argument inside the house that turned into a physical altercation going to the ground. The adult was getting the upper hand when the juvenile pulled out a handgun and shot the adult male in the rib area. The juvenile then fled the scene.
Witnesses inside the house could not find a cell phone to call 9-1-1, so one of them headed out on foot in the snow to the sheriff’s department one block away and was subsequently injured going over a fence in the process. He was later transported by ambulance to the Rio Grande Hospital.
After interviewing witnesses, searching the inside of the house and learning the juvenile’s identity, the suspect was quickly found at his parents’ house a short distance away and was taken into custody without incident. He is being charged with First Degree Assault with a Deadly Weapon. The suspect is currently in detention in Alamosa awaiting arraignment.
Sergeant Archuleta said the juvenile suspect has had minor run-ins with the police before such as under-age consumption, but nothing as serious as this.
Sergeant Archuleta said he feels very fortunate and grateful to have such professional help from other agencies that responded to the scene resulting in the quick apprehension of the suspect. Officers from Colorado State Patrol, Rio Grande Sheriff’s Office, South Fork Police and the security firm that works for the hospital, were all involved in the successful on-scene investigation and the timely apprehension of the suspect.
No other injuries were sustained by first responders or witnesses. The latest information on the gunshot victim, Isaiah LeBlanc, is that (as of this writing) he is in serious condition at The Regional Medical Center in Alamosa.