Suspect in Inverness shooting arrested in New Mexico; Christopher Fields has history of stalking ex

Christopher Fields arrested Wednesday afternoon

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. - The suspect in the shooting of a woman near an Inverness business complex Wednesday morning has been arrested in New Mexico.

Christopher Fields was taken into custody at 2:30 p.m. near Raton by New Mexico State Police, the Arapahoe  County Sheriff's Office said. He was on a motorcycle and had a weapon in his possession, the sheriff's office said.

The victim, identified as Field's ex-girlfriend,  was shot in her car at about 8 a.m. as she was exiting northbound Interstate 25 approaching East County Line Road, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said.

She was on the exit ramp when "Fields allegedly stepped in front of her car and fired one round through the windshield, striking the victim," the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said.

The gunman fled from the scene on a blue Kawasaki motorcycle, the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office said.

The woman drove a half-mile to 365 Inverness Parkway,  where she works, and sought help.

Video shot by 7NEWS at the parking lot where she left her car showed a bullet hole through the windshield of a gray Ford Escape. The single bullet hole was on the driver's side.

Police quickly identified Fields, 27, as a person of interest and issued an alert seeking his capture. Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office Investigators developed information that Fields was at a location in New Mexico and contacted New Mexico authorities.

Arapahoe County sheriff's investigators are headed to Raton,  N.M.  where Fields is being held, Arapahoe County Sheriff's Capt. Larry Etheridge said. They  may have to have him extradited to Colorado, but he could waive extradition.

Etheridge said the victim is being treated at a hospital he wouldn't identify and he believes she has non-life-threatening injuries.

The victim had worked at Intuit, which is located at 365 Inverness,  but now works at a company that shares office space in that same building, according to an Intuit spokesman.

Fields will be charged with attempted first-degree murder but more charges may be added as the investigation continues, Etheridge said.

Fields' mother, Joyce Fields, said her son has long struggled with mental illness and could not get over the break up in June of 2011.

"The pain was just too much, and no matter how much we talked to him, how much help we tried to give, he couldn't get over it," said Joyce Fields.  "Chris was a tortured soul. I have books from when he was a little boy, and I was trying to help him, and one said 'tortured soul,' and that was my son."

Joyce Fields said after her son was assigned an ankle bracelet in the stalking and harassment case, he tried to take it off and spent three days in jail for it.

"He freaked out, and as soon as he got home he tried to take it off," she said.

Douglas County Sheriff's Office initially looked into the shooting because it was believed to have occurred at that office complex, which is located in Douglas County. But when investigators determined that the shooting occurred at the exit ramp it was turned over to Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office because that area is in the jurisdiction of Arapahoe County.

-- Fields Arrested For Stalking Ex-Girlfriend --

Fields has a history of stalking his ex-girlfriend, according to court records obtained by 7NEWS.

Fields was arrested in Douglas County on Sept. 27, 2011, for felony intimidation and stalking and misdemeanor harassment  -- following in a person in a public place, according to court records. 

Eight months later, on June 15, 2012, Fields was again arrested for felony intimidation and stalking and misdemeanor harassment and stalking. Then on June 26, 2012, he was arrested for felony contempt of court involving the earlier stalking cases.

A Douglas County judge issued a temporary protection order against him on Nov. 11, 2011, barring him from contacting his ex-girlfriend and a 51-year-old woman who is related to her.

The ex-girlfriend then was granted a permanent protection order in June 2012, which prohibited Fields from contacting her.

As part of that stalking case, Fields was ordered to wear a GPS ankle monitor. Fields removed the monitor some time during the incident and discarded it near the shooting scene, where it was located by Douglas County Sheriff’s Office investigators, as part of their initial response.

Fields' mother told 7NEWS he's had the ankle monitor on since May because of his felony stalking arrest.

On Wednesday, a judge issued an arrest warrant for Fields for failing to comply in the stalking case. Fields had been free on $25,000 bond but the judge raised the bond to $100,000 on Wednesday.

-- Police Surround Fields' Home In Denver --

There was a heavy police presence in the Inverness area for most of the morning.

About a dozen police officers and SWAT officers had also gathered at Fields' home in Denver -- on South Akron Street near South Yosemite Street and East Hampden Avenue.  They never entered the home, but had been prepared to do so. Neighbors told officers they last saw Fields early Wednesday morning.

The County Line Road exit from northbound I-25 was closed briefly for the investigation. It has since reopened.

-- Lockout For 15 Schools Lifted --

Fifteen schools were placed on lockout at 8:50 a.m.,  including (from the Highlands Ranch/Lone Tree area) Acres Green Elementary, Bridges Program, Cloverleaf, Eagle Ridge Elementary, Early Childhood Center North, Fox Creek Elementary, Hope Online, Lone Tree Elementary, Sand Creek Elementary, and SkyView Academy.

From the Parker area, Chaparral High School, Mammoth Heights Elementary, Pine Lane Elementary, and Sierra Middle School were on lockout and the DCS Montessori in Castle Rock was also on lockout. 

The lockout for all schools was lifted at 10 a.m., according the Douglas County School District's website.

The principal of Acres Green Elementary sent a notification to families letting them know the school was on lockout because of heavy police activity in the area.

Parents told 7NEWS they got notifications from Jim Elliott Christian School as well.

Lockout means all students are kept inside their building and all outside doors are locked but activities inside the school continue as normal, according to Douglas County School District.

The RTD light rail station at County Line was closed briefly while police searched for the gunman. It has since reopened. RTD said the closure caused a 10- to 15-minute delay on Lines E and F.