A man in Edgemont Ranch is upset it took the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office two hours to check on his welfare after firing a gunshot into his house in the early-morning hours of July 11.
Bud Andersen and his 6-year-old daughter, Shelby, were at home asleep when the stray bullet pierced a wall, flew through his closet and hit a refrigerator in the kitchen.
Sheriff Duke Schirard said his team got busy dealing with the fallout from the shooting and was unable to make contact with Andersen until later that morning.
The shot, fired by a deputy, went through the wall of Andersen’s house and through a closet before ricocheting off the refrigerator and landing on the kitchen floor, Andersen said.
The shot was fired about 2 a.m., Schirard said.
Andersen said deputies came to check on him and his daughter about 4 a.m., but he was not notified a bullet had whizzed through his house until about 6:30 a.m., when deputies were looking for the bullet.
“I can understand his frustration and being upset, but we were trying to accomplish so many things at once that perhaps we overlooked giving him any explanation,” Schirard said.
The incident began about 12:50 a.m. July 11 when Andersen’s neighbor, Andrew Gregory Baros, reportedly became suicidal and barricaded himself inside his home at 281 Silver Queen Road in the Edgemont subdivision, about five miles northeast of Durango on Florida Road (County Road 240).
Baros was armed with an AR-15 and a shotgun, according to a police report.
In a call to 911, Baros said he did not want deputies to come to his house and would shoot if they did, according to the police report.
He said he was on drugs and “freaking out,” according to an arrest affidavit submitted by La Plata County Deputy Sheriff Joseph LaVenture.
When deputies arrived, they parked patrol vehicles about 200 yards north of the condominium, according to the police report.
Deputies cautiously approached Baros’ apartment on foot. After 20 minutes, Baros came out of his condo armed with his shotgun. Deputies ordered Baros to drop the weapon, but he refused.
He then shouted that his gun was in a “low ready” position and warned deputies not to shoot, according to the police report.
In an interview Thursday morning, Schirard said Baros raised his weapon and aimed it toward Deputy Zach Farnam.
In an effort to avoid a possible shooting, the deputy fired a shot while the suspect was moving, Schirard said.
The shot missed Baros, who, at the time, was standing in front of Andersen’s condo, which is connected to Baros’ condo.
“That was the only shot fired, and it went into the building,” Schirard said.
After the shot was fired, Baros ran back inside his condo and subsequently surrendered, Schirard said.
Baros is being held on suspicion of first-degree assault on a police officer, felony menacing, harassment, domestic violence and false imprisonment, Schirard said.
He is not suspected of a possessing an illegal firearm.
Any person who is an 18-year-old or older and passes a background check stating that he or she does not have a criminal record can possess an AR-15, said Kayden Hyson an employee at Colorado Trading Co., a local pawn shop.
Andersen said he is disturbed deputies didn’t check on him and his daughter immediately after the shot was fired into the house.
“I just don’t think their protocol was executed correctly,” said Andersen, an assistant golf professional at Hillcrest Golf Club. “There was a chunk of time that went by, and they should have came in to check on us, knowing that they shot into my condo, and they didn’t.”
“Bottom line, I’m not accusing them of any wrongdoing. It’s just the protocol that upset me,” he said.
Schirard said deputies knew the bullet went into the house but had no idea exactly where it went.
There was a lot happening at the time: Baros’ girlfriend was distraught, his family was trying to calm him down by telephone, and officers had to make a physical arrest, Schirard said.
“We then had to transport him to jail, immediately do affidavits of arrests, secure the scene, mark evidence and attempt to locate where the bullet went,” Schirard said.
“While I can certainly sympathize with his reaction and understand why he is upset, I hope he understands what occurs when a thing like this goes on and officers have to take that kind of action,” Schirard said. “We have so much to do and so few people on at that time of day to deal with those things.”