Officer, suspect ID'd in fatal shooting; series of events released

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO)-- Police have identified the suspect and officer involved in the fatal police shooting Sunday afternoon.

It happened at the Shamrock mobile home park near 28 1/2 Road on North Avenue.

The coroner identified the man as 44-year-old Simon Gomez.

The officer was identified as Corporal Ryan Piotrowski, a 13-year veteran of the Grand Junction Police Department, according to police.

According to police, a woman left her home to call 911 around 4 p.m. She said her husband, Gomez, was acting strange and paranoid, and he was carrying three knives.

Police said the woman was concerned about the safety of her children.

Police arrived on the scene about 4:30 p.m. and tried to contact Gomez. Police said they tried to call him over the phone, but each time it went to the voicemail.

The officers became concerned for the welfare of the children in the home and decided to enter.

Police said Gomez setup several barricades using furniture and other items in a narrow hallway.

GJPD said officers found Gomez with knives at the neck of each of the children in the bathroom. He was crouched in the bathtub holding the children hostage.

"He was ordered at least twice to drop the knife. When he refused to do so one of our officers fired his duty weapon," said Grand Junction Police Chief John Camper.

Corporal Piotrowski shot and killed Gomez, according to authorities.

"I can't imagine the horror of one of these kids being killed or injured while and officer is fumbling for a taser," said Camper.

Authorities said neither the children or any officers were injured. After shots were fired, police said, the children were taken out of the home, and officers gave them water and stuffed animals. They were given clean clothing.

According to authorities Gomez held knives to the children several times while they were alone, before police arrived.

Police said Gomez had a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2000, including burglaries, DUIs, and other charges for resisting and eluding arrest.

The Mesa County Coroner reported Gomez had meth and alcohol in his system at the time of the incident.

According to the coroner's office Gomez died of a gunshot wound to the head and chest.

Gomez's most recent contact with authorities, according to police,was a few days prior to the incident, when someone reported he was yelling at children and a woman.

Corporal Piotrowski is on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the investigation.

The CIRT team is investigating.

Anyone who believes they have helpful information should call Crime Stoppers.

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