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Affidavit: Greeley officer who shot suspect stopped massive blast

Posted at 5:56 PM, Jun 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-14 19:58:16-04

GREELEY, Colo. (AP) — A police officer is credited with preventing a massive explosion by shooting a man who was holding a road flare near a methanol tank in northern Colorado.

Court documents say 54-year-old Stephen Garcia was within "a second" of igniting a quarter-mile blast Saturday before he was shot. He's facing several charges, including attempted murder.

An oil field worker reported a man hiding behind the tank, and authorities say Garcia had wrapped a cloth around the cap and threatened to blow it up. The Greeley Tribune reports he was shot twice when he raised his hand toward the cloth in what officers perceived as an attempt to ignite the tank.

The flare and a lighter were found close to where Garcia was shot.

The Greeley officer's name hasn't been released, and jail records don't indicate if Garcia has an attorney.