Resident of El Jebel subdivision thwarts alleged murder-suicide attempt
Eagle County deputy sheriffs believe a murder-suicide attempt was thwarted at the Blue Lake subdivision early Monday when a woman fought off an attacker wielding a specialized nail gun.
Jose Sosa-Vasquez, 28, allegedly went to the home of his girlfriend at about 3 a.m. Monday and told her he “couldn’t live without her,” Eagle County Deputy Sheriff Kirk Wheatley said. The woman told investigators that Sosa-Vasquez then used a Ramset tool to try to drive a nail into the woman’s head and her chest in separate attacks. He shot himself in the chest after she fought off the advances, Wheatley said.
Ramset tools are used for various fastening jobs, such as attaching wood to cement. The single-shot model at the Blue Lake home used a .22-caliber bullet to power a nail, which is loaded separately in a muzzle.
Wheatley said the investigation left no doubt that Sosa-Vasquez shot himself. Sosa-Vasquez faces arrest on multiple charges, including attempted murder, felony menacing, domestic violence, false imprisonment and tampering with an emergency call, the deputy said.
The 32-year-old victim was bruised, but otherwise didn’t receive physical injuries. She lives in the residence, Wheatley said. Investigators weren’t immediately able to determine if Sosa-Vasquez also lived there.
The two weren’t together prior to the incident. They were experiencing problems with their relationship. The suspect came home after an apparent night of partying. He told an emergency room nurse that he had drunk alcohol and ingested cocaine, Wheatley said.
Wheatley said his dispatch center received a telephone call from a Blue Lake residence at about 4 a.m., but the call was cut off before complete information was given. The number was busy when the police dispatcher called back, so Wheatley responded.
A male, later identified as Sosa-Vasquez, answered the door and a woman quickly emerged from a rear room. Wheatley said he sensed there was a domestic situation in progress because of the man’s aggressive demeanor toward the woman. He placed the man in handcuffs while he sorted out their information.
“The victim broke down and said he shot himself and tried to kill her,” Wheatley said.
He checked the area where the woman indicated the man shot himself and observed a wound in Sosa-Vasquez’s upper chest. Wheatley called an ambulance and Sosa-Vasquez was transported to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs.
The severity of the suspect’s wounds couldn’t be determined Monday because officials at Valley View Hospital wouldn’t disclose his condition. Wheatley said doctors told him the nail came within an inch of hitting Sosa-Vasquez’s heart. A spokeswoman for the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office said Sosa-Vasquez, who has a permanent residency card, had undergone surgery.
The suspect was under guard by a deputy.
The early-morning incident was largely undetected in sprawling Blue Lake, where hundreds of local working families live. The subdivision is in the El Jebel area. Wheatley said he doubted many neighbors were even aware of the commotion.
One resident of the neighborhood was shocked to hear about the murder-suicide attempt when informed about it Monday afternoon. She commented on the irony of the event kicking off the holidays.
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Recreation and travel in Glenwood Canyon will be much more hazardous due to the potential rockfall and debris flows originating from destabilized ground, rock and weakened trees burned by the Grizzly Creek Fire last summer.