PUEBLO COUNTY, Colorado — The swift response and quick actions by Pueblo County Sheriff’s deputies led to the early morning arrest of a Pueblo West man, who fired shots at deputies and nearby residences causing more than $10,000 in damages. No one was injured in the incident.
Benjamin Chavez, 43, was arrested for three counts of attempted first-degree murder on a peace officer, attempted first-degree murder, criminal attempt, illegal discharge of a firearm, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment and possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
“This easily could’ve had a very different outcome due to the reckless disregard this suspect had by indiscriminately shooting in a residential area and at our deputies” said Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “I commend the deputies for their quick thinking and putting their active-shooter training to use to get this resolved in a peaceful manner.”
Deputies responded to the area of Rustic Drive and N. Canvas Drive at about 3 a.m., shortly after being dispatched on a report of shots fired. When deputies arrived, they spoke to a witness who said he was awakened by the sound of gunshots. The witnesses said when he went outside his home to investigate where the shots were coming from, he heard a shot hit the ground near him. The witness said he then ran back inside his home.
As the two deputies were investigating the incident, they heard multiple gunshots and heard and saw evidence of several rounds hitting the ground near them. The deputies sought cover behind a structure in the 500 block of N. Canvas Drive, where they subsequently heard another estimated 15 to 20 more shots fired. The deputies were able to determine the shots were coming from the residence in the 1100 block of Rustic Drive.
The Sheriff’s Office SWAT team was called out and nearby residents were notified for safety reasons via a reverse 911 call of the police action in the area. Pueblo County School District 70 officials also were notified due to school bus routes being in the vicinity of the incident. After a brief standoff, Chavez walked out of the yard at about 5 a.m. and was taken into custody without incident. He was the only resident in the home.
Deputies later executed a search warrant on the property and found nine guns, including two assault rifles, and various types of ammunition in locations throughout the home and yard. Deputies also discovered two guns near a residential greenhouse that contained numerous marijuana plants.
In searching the surrounding area, deputies found multiple shell casings in the backyard of Chavez’s home. There also was damage discovered to a nearby home and several vehicles in the area, all believed to have been caused by the gunshots. The damage has been estimated at $10,900.
The investigation is ongoing.