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Law enforcement refuses to comment on shooting death south of Durango

Incident involving a tribal ranger left one man dead
Law enforcement has not released any information about a Nov. 24 shooting death near Weaselskin Bridge on La Posta Road (County Road 213) south of Durango.

More than a week after a La Plata County man was shot and killed south of Durango, law enforcement is mum on any of the details of the incident.

The shooting was reported about 12:30 p.m. Nov. 24 near La Posta Road (County Road 213) and County Road 214, near Weaselskin Bridge, about 6 miles south of Durango.

Because the incident occurred on Southern Ute Indian Tribe land, the case is being investigated by the Southern Ute Indian Tribe and the FBI.

The tribe initially released few details about the shooting, other than to confirm an incident took place and involved a tribal ranger.

When contacted this week, SUIT spokeswoman Lindsay Box said the tribe “has no additional comment at this time.”

Amy Meyer, a spokeswoman for the FBI, said, “We do not have any updates at this time and cannot provide comment.”

Jeffrey Dorschner, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office said, “We are aware of this incident and investigating it with appropriate law enforcement, and have no comment beyond that.”

Even the family of the man who was shot and killed, identified as George Sands, has received little information, said the deceased man’s sister, Debbie Powell.

“This just feels really unjust and unmoral,” Powell told The Durango Herald last week. “We realize under the circumstances there are steps to take. But I would think the family being notified would be on the top of that list.”

Powell did not return requests for comment this week.

Powell said Sands was homeless and worked for a family in exchange for meals and a place to stay. She said he was a father of three girls and one boy who will have a “hard process of dealing with his death.”

“George was a good person, not a perfect one but a good person,” Powell said.

According to initial reports, first responders attempted lifesaving measures immediately after arriving at the scene.

La Posta Road and County Road 214 were closed until at least 2 p.m. Nov. 24 near the site of the shooting.

Box said at the time an incident took place “involving a tribal ranger.”

According to the tribe’s website, a ranger is within the Natural Resource Enforcement Division, and is tasked with protecting natural resources, oil and gas facilities and checking on matters such as hunters having proper permits and licenses.

It’s unclear what qualifications or certifications rangers must obtain. Box did not return a request seeking this information.

The Durango Herald submitted an open records request to the FBI seeking documentation on this incident. As of 4 p.m. Friday, that request had not been received.


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