Suspect in Colorado mass shooting that left 3 dead has been arrested, sheriff’s office says

The man suspected of killing three people and seriously wounding a fourth in rural Colorado has been arrested, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office said.

Hanme K. Clark, 45, is accused of shooting four people Monday in a wooded part of Custer County after an apparent dispute over property lines, according to the sheriff.

Clark was arrested by the New Mexico State Police, the sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post Tuesday evening.

Earlier Tuesday, the sheriff had told reporters an arrest warrant was obtained for Clark on three counts of first-degree murder.

He was captured shortly before 3 p.m. near Albuquerque, Custer County Sheriff Lloyd “Rich” Smith said during a news conference after the announcement of the arrest. Clark was taken into custody without incident and “nobody was injured,” the sheriff said.

“That’s the best resolution for us,” Smith said. “Our teams worked around the clock to catch him.”

Hanme K. Clark, the suspect wanted in the deaths of three people in Custer County, Colorado, has been arrested, the sheriff's office confirmed. - Custer County Sheriff's Office
Hanme K. Clark, the suspect wanted in the deaths of three people in Custer County, Colorado, has been arrested, the sheriff's office confirmed. - Custer County Sheriff's Office

The mass shooting happened around 1 p.m. Monday when the killer opened fire on five people in a wooded area, Smith said at a news conference Monday night.

Two men and a woman were killed, he said. Another woman suffered gunshots to the chest and is expected to survive, while a fifth person managed to escape, Smith said.

“The suspect and at least one of the victims have been in previous civil disputes about property lines and easements,” Smith said, without providing further details.

The three victims were identified Tuesday by the Custer County coroner as Rob Geers, 63, and his wife, Beth Wade Geers, 73, and James Daulton, 58, the sheriff said.

Daulton’s wife, Patty Daulton, was wounded and was being treated for her injuries at a trauma center, authorities said. In Tuesday’s news conference, the sheriff said Daulton was “improving.”

The Daultons and the Geers were property owners and their property bordered the suspect’s, the sheriff said.

“We got the suspect in custody and that was the priority and now we have a pretty lengthy investigation to go to take this case to prosecution,” Smith said. “I hope that this brings relief to the neighborhood and to the community and more importantly, closure to the families of the victims and their friends.”

609 mass shootings in the US this year

The deadly attack marks at least the 609th mass shooting in the US so far this year with four or more people shot, excluding the perpetrator, data from the Gun Violence Archive shows.

The shooting happened in a remote part of Custer County, near the border with Fremont County, Smith said.

When authorities arrived, “We didn’t know where the shooter was. The shooting happened in a wooded area, and so we entered kind of at a high risk,” the sheriff said.

“We did find a survivor, and we were able to bring her out of the hot zone and get her to the ambulance,” Smith said. The survivor had suffered gunshot wounds and was flown to a Level 1 trauma center in Colorado Springs.

As a Fremont County SWAT team, a drone and other law enforcement personnel hunted for the suspect, a local shelter-in-place order was issued at 1:43 p.m., Smith said. The order was lifted Monday night.

“We have a very good lead on almost exactly where the suspect and the vehicle are,” Smith said Monday night, “and we’re working with another law enforcement agency to take him into custody.”

This story has been updated with additional information.

Correction: An earlier version of this story misspelled the suspect’s last name. It is Clark.

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