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Update: Teen suspected of gunfire at Cortez fireworks show is held without bail

Gunfire halted the Fourth of July fireworks show Thursday at Parque de Vida. The suspect was arrested by police on Friday. (Sam Green/Special to The Journal)
Juvenile, deemed a danger to the community, was arrested the day after Fourth of July incident

The 17-year-old suspected of firing a gun at Cortez’s Independence Day fireworks show will be held without bail, according to a decision Monday in 22nd Judicial District Court.

The minor faces charges including felony menacing, reckless endangerment, juvenile possession of a firearm and possession of a defaced firearm, according to District Attorney Christian Hatfield.

He is being held at the Grand Mesa Youth Services Center and was not present at the court hearing in Cortez. His parents were present.

Because of the nature of the crime, Chief Judge Todd Plewe deemed the juvenile to be a danger to the community.

Plewe requested a protection order and the appointment of a guardian ad litem because the minor wasn’t living with his parents before the shooting. He had lived off and on with his aunt, but not leading up to the shooting, according to the court.

His parents asked about contacting him, and Plewe they could call or visit him in the detention center.

The suspect’s next hearing, return for filing of petition, was scheduled for July 24 at 10 a.m. before 22nd Judicial District Judge William Furse.

The shooting occurred Thursday during the fireworks show near the skate park on the south side of Parque de Vida. The show, scheduled to last until 10 p.m., was abruptly ended shortly after the gunfire.

Video footage provided to The Journal showed a fight break out near the skate park before a person out of the video frame fired at least two shots.

People began running from the scene and others tried to shield their loved ones in fear of an active shooter, according to posts on Facebook after the incident.

According to a police report, the suspect fled on foot toward Taco Bell after firing three shots into the air after the start of a fight.

Officers spoke with a woman whose two children were at the skate park and were allegedly receiving death threats at the time of the incident.

The woman, whose name was redacted, said her children were receiving death threats from a juvenile who she believed to be the shooter.

Another redacted witness told police the suspect had reached for the gun multiple times, acting like he was going to pull it out of his pants before the fight broke out.

The fireworks show, which draws thousands of people to Cortez from the Four Corner states of Colorado, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, was abruptly stopped by the Cortez Police Department and the Cortez Fire Protection District, which worked to empty the park for the investigation.

The police department later said on crimewatch.net that the shots were fired after a fight near the skate park about 9:35 p.m. At the time, officers were heading to a call about a suspected overdose at Safeway, 1580 E. Main St.

“Multiple shots were fired into the air,” the alert said.

No injuries were reported from the shooting.

“Officers are investigating,” the statement said. “We do not believe that there is an active threat to the public.”