Wild and Dangerous Times Strike Woodland Park and Teller County

Authorities investigate attempted murder; reckless, an armed man reported on the loose

~ by Trevor Phipps ~

The crime rate continues to rise locally as police and sheriff’s deputies respond to multiple gun-related incidents, including an attempted murder incident.

 The recent spate of near-deadly reports began in Woodland Park on Saturday, June 16, involving a man running around the central part of the town with a firearm. The second occurred on June 18 when police responded to a shooting in southern Teller County.


Man With Rifle Runs Around Downtown Woodland Park

On the afternoon of June 16, the Woodland Park Police Department issued an alert to the public warning residents of a man acting suspiciously carrying a rifle.

The notice scared local residents and businesses in the area, and everyone in town was put on alert to call the police if the man was seen. The Woodland Park Public Library cleared the building and locked their doors after employees there got word of the incident.

According to Woodland Park Police Commander Christopher Adams, the situation all started when the police received a call that someone was driving recklessly on Highway 24. When the police stopped the vehicle, they noticed a black AR-15 rifle sitting on the floorboard of the vehicle. The police immediately identified the driver to be 19-year-old Evan Adkins. As the officers got closer to the suspect’s car, he fled the scene.

During the course of the traffic stop, Mr. Adkins fled the scene of the traffic stop almost causing a traffic accident on Highway 24,” Commander Adams said.

At the time of the incident, the highway was heavily congested with traffic and the officers lost sight of Adkins shortly after he fled. Then, police officers from across the county were called out to search the area for the armed suspect. While authorities combed the city streets in the center of town, the 911 dispatch center started to get flooded with calls saying that a man was walking around, acting suspiciously and carrying a black rifle.

According to reports, Adkins had no shirt on and was running around people’s backyards and patios looking suspicious. Some local citizens reported that Adkins was knocking on doors around town trying to get people to let him into their homes. The man the concerned residents reported to police did fit Adkin’s description, according to officials.  

This was when the police issued the Nixle alert, hoping that residents would call and report Adkins’ location. While searching the area that Adkins was last detected, police found his vehicle and it appeared as if it was crashed into a house on South Avenue near the Ute Pass Cultural Center. Shortly after the police were able to locate Adkins with the help of local residents, the suspect was apprehended near the intersection of Mountain View Road and Mountain View Place. Police were able to take him into custody without incident and Adkins was unarmed when he was found. Authorities later located Adkins’ rifle in a field nearby with the help from an eyewitness.

Adkins was charged with vehicular eluding along with several other traffic-related offenses. Adkins was taken to Teller County Jail and booked in early Sunday morning. He then made bail and was released later Sunday afternoon.

According to Teller County Sheriff Commander Greg Couch, receiving help from citizens is crucial in helping the police make an arrest. “If you see someone doing something suspicious with a firearm call it into the police,” Couch said. He said that a lot of people have guns legally but anything someone does that looks suspicious should be reported. He used the incident in Woodland Park as an example, saying that Adkins behavior was obviously suspicious and warranted calls to authorities. He also stated that if gunshots are heard in places where shooting is illegal or not common, residents should call 911.


Domestic Dispute Nearly Turns Deadly

On Monday June 18, the Teller County Sheriff’s Office received a call that a shooting had taken place in the Navajo Mountain Mesa Subdivision located south of Florissant.

 Luckily, no fatalities occurred, but the incident may jumpstart the push to grapple with the ongoing issue of domestic violence in rural areas.  

As soon as the deputies arrived at the scene, they found out that a 49 year-old-woman had been shot in the chest. Law enforcement officers immediately notified the paramedics, and they determined that Flight For Life should be called in.

The helicopter transported the victim to Penrose Main Hospital, where the victim arrived in stable condition suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. Present at the scene of the shooting were the husband and child of the victim. Detectives then conducted an investigation of the incident and learned that the victim had been shot by her husband, 38-year-old Shannon Cromer after the two were engaged in a domestic dispute inside their home.

“There was an 11-year old child present on the property at the time of the shooting but is not thought to be an eyewitness,” Couch said.

Cromer was arrested for attempted first-degree murder, felony domestic violence, and violation of a protection order. Cromer was booked into Teller County Jail that Monday night and is currently incarcerated with a $55,000 bond.

According to Couch, the Colorado Bureau Of Investigations was called in to assist the sheriff’s office with the investigation and processing of the crime scene. Cromer may face more charges as the investigation continues.