WELD COUNTY, Colo. — A Keenesburg man was arrested this week after allegedly opening fire on a tenant over a rent dispute.
Brian Fletcher, 51, was arrested Tuesday night and booked into the Weld County Jail on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder, second-degree assault, menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender, which are all felonies. He also faces misdemeanor charges of reckless endangerment and prohibited use of a weapon.
The charges stem from an incident on Tuesday around 3:15 p.m. That afternoon, Weld County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a report of a shooting in the 1900 block of Weld County Road 55, which is about five miles south of Keenesburg. The person who called 911 told dispatchers that her husband, Fletcher, had just shot a man, according to the sheriff’s office.
The woman described the events that led up to the shooting to deputies. She said she and her husband had been having problems with their tenant, a 64-year-old man, who lived in a trailer on their property. The woman said he’d stopped paying rent. She said she and Fletcher had been filling out the required paperwork to evict the tenant when Fletcher asked if he could just shoot him, according to the sheriff’s office.
The woman said Fletcher had been agitated because on Monday, he confronted the tenant about the unpaid rent with a revolver and pointed it at him from about two feet away. According to Fletcher’s wife, the tenant “simply slapped the gun away,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Fletcher left the home around 3 p.m. Tuesday and returned 15 minutes later, telling his wife to call 911 because he’d shot a man while doing target practice.
When deputies interviewed the tenant, he explained a different story. He said he had been working on his trailer when he saw Fletcher leave his home. He said Fletcher pointed a revolver at him and told him to get off the property before he opened fire, according to the sheriff’s office.
The tenant said he took cover behind a large Conex-style storage container. The tenant’s friend, a 55-year-old man, was visiting and was inside the container at the time, according to the sheriff’s office. He told deputies that when he heard gunshots, he saw his friend run past the doors of the storage container.
The friend walked toward the doors to see if his life was in danger when a bullet ricocheted off one of the doors and struck him in the abdomen, according to the sheriff’s office. The bullet didn’t penetrate his skin.
Investigators were able to collect the bullet on the ground.
As of Thursday evening, Fletcher remained in jail on a $150,000 bond.
Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Weld County Sheriff’s Office at 970-356-4015, or Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 for a possible cash reward.