The task force investigating Northern Colorado’s series of unsolved shootings announced Tuesday that it has identified a vehicle of interest in the Loveland case — information that followed vague details of a fourth shooting in the region.
Investigators are asking for the public’s help in locating a 1970s full-size, single-cab Chevrolet or GMC pickup truck that is a faded single-orange color with black primer on the driver’s side body. The pickup also has a full-size bed and round headlights.
Residents should pay special attention to the rendering’s distinctive headlights, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office spokesman David Moore said in a media briefing.
“Obviously, we want this picture out in as many ways as we can,” Moore said. “Ultimately, we just need someone to call the task force about this vehicle.”
The vehicle description followed the announcement that an individual has come forward saying they were shot at June 3, the same night 65-year-old William Connole was gunned down while walking near the intersection of East First Street and St. Louis Avenue in Loveland. The person, who was not injured, late last week reported to the task force that the incident happened near the intersection Denver Avenue and East Eisenhower Boulevard, about 2 miles from where Connole was killed.
Moore would not say whether the person was walking, cycling or driving, nor would he identify the person or pinpoint whether the shooting occurred near a vacant field to the north or closer to a busy shopping center to the south.
The person reported being shot at “shortly before” Connole was killed about 11 p.m., Moore told the Coloradoan after Tuesday’s briefing.
Moore did not explain why the individual waited two weeks to report the incident.
“We’re just thankful that this person did come forward,” he said.
The announcement of the new details prompted more questions than answers, and residents by Tuesday evening were sharing photos through social media of friends’ pickups — some of them similar to the artist’s rendering and others drastically different.
It was not immediately known how many similar vehicles are registered in the Northern Colorado area. Investigators said the depiction of the vehicle of interest was based on several interviews and canvasses during the investigation.
“The vehicle of interest is a vehicle that is potentially involved in these incidents,” Moore said, adding later that the task force has been working with “many differing agencies that could help narrow down the list.”
Cameras dot the area where the newly publicized shooting reportedly happened. Surveillance cameras are also in the area where Connole was shot, though Moore would not say to what degree video is being reviewed.
“If there is video, the task force is aware and has obtained that video because that would be part of any normal criminal investigation,” Moore said.
Tuesday’s announcement was the first news conference the task force has held since June 4, when police announced the group would be investigating Connole’s homicide.
The two Loveland cases are linked. However, Moore reiterated that the Loveland shootings have not been linked to two previous Northern Colorado shootings that left a woman injured and a man dead. The description of the orange pickup truck is exclusively for the Loveland cases at this point.
The other shootings include the slaying of John Jacoby, 47, on May 18 in Windsor and the nonfatal shooting of 21-year-old Cori Romero on April 22 near Harmony Road and Interstate 25.
Moore would not say what it would take for the task force to link the two pairs of shootings.
The task force last week — in some of its most definitive language to date — wrote in a letter that the region’s spate of shattered vehicle windows are not likely related to the shootings. Officials also said the task force has moved from working out of a building in Windsor to an undisclosed building in Loveland, as the FBI has an office in that city. The task force comprises the FBI, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, Windsor Police Department, Loveland Police Department and Larimer and Weld district attorney’s offices.
Previously, the task force announced it was looking for the driver of a white Ford SUV, believing that person “may have important witness information for the investigation” of the Jacoby shooting. It’s not been made clear whether any tips panned out in that probe.
The FBI’s reward remains set at $20,000 for information that leads to an arrest, prosecution and conviction. Larimer County Crime Stoppers on Tuesday also announced it would award $2,500 for information leading to an arrest.
Anyone with information about the shooting investigation is asked to call the task force tip line at 970-498-5595 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Call Crime Stoppers at 970-221-6868 for reward that leads to the arrest of suspect(s)