Qwest executive shot, killed while hunting | PostIndependent.com

Qwest executive shot, killed while hunting

A tragedy for a top corporate executive this year also became a crime with international implications.Jeff Garrett, 37, of Aurora, was shot to death, allegedly by a Mexican national, while turkey hunting May 14 in the East Elk Creek area above New Castle. He was assistant vice president for Qwest in Colorado and a state lobbyist for the company. He was married and had two children.”This just was a really terrible, terrible loss,” Qwest spokesman Michael Dunne said. “He was a very dedicated and really valuable leader for Qwest.”Police believe the suspect mistakenly confused Garrett for a turkey when Garrett was crouching in heavy brush and calling for a turkey himself.A June press conference was organized so that Garrett’s family could plea for suspects or witnesses to come forward. Instead, investigators used it to announce that a witness had been located, and a suspect identified.However, that suspect is believed to have fled back to Mexico.Both the witness and suspect were ranch hands who were believed to be clearing brush when the shooter heard Garrett’s calls. Investigators have found the rifle used in the shooting.Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario and Colorado Attorney General John Suthers both have expressed confidence that the shooter will be apprehended and justice will be served, whether in Mexican or Colorado courts.- Dennis Webb

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