An armed man has been arrested on suspicion of leading law enforcement on a 50-mile chase over two mountain passes from Silverton to Hermosa with speeds reaching 97 mph.
After eluding two sets of spike strips, Kyle Gene Gammill, 30, was arrested north of Hermosa in La Plata County.
The chase started about 7:12 p.m. Friday in Silverton when San Juan County Sheriff Bruce Conrad tried to stop Gammill on suspicion of pushing a trash can into the 1300 block of Greene Street, according to an arrest affidavit.
A business owner said she had video of the incident and was following the suspect, who was in a black Dodge pickup truck, and was providing the suspect’s location to law enforcement.
Conrad first encountered the suspect driving a black Dodge pickup truck with Texas license plates on 13th Street in Silverton.
But Gammill turned onto Empire Street and disregarded a stop sign to avoid Conrad in his patrol vehicle, according to the affidavit.
Gammill continued to elude Conrad, going through several more stop signs. Traveling as fast as 45 mph in town, he made his way out of town, and he turned north on U.S. Highway 550.
Gammill led Conrad north on Highway 550 at speeds ranging from 10 mph to 85 mph before he stopped at milepost 76 in the middle of the lane, but as Conrad pulled up next to him to persuade him to discontinue the pursuit, Gammill sped in reverse and changed direction, now heading south on Highway 550.
Undersheriff Steve Lowrance set up spike strips at milepost 73, but Gammill avoided them, and the pursuit continued south on Highway 550 with speeds topping out at 97 mph. The chase traveled over Molas and Coal Bank passes into La Plata County.
A second set of spike strips was set up near mile post 35, south of the Glacier Club. But Gammill also avoided those.
Gammill eventually surrendered at milepost 32 after he was caught where troopers with the Colorado State Patrol and deputies with the La Plata County Sheriff’s Office sat waiting, according to the affidavit.
At the scene of the arrest, Gammill exited the pickup and obeyed officers’ commands. A CSP trooper alerted other officers that Gammill was armed, with a pistol holstered on his right hip.
Lowrance disarmed Gammill, tossing the gun to the ground away from the suspect. Later, a search of the pickup discovered a short shotgun in the truck.
Both weapons had magazines and rounds in their chambers.
Gammill was arrested by Conrad on suspicion of vehicular eluding, reckless endangerment and criminal mischief.
Gammill’s driver’s license listed his hometown as Odessa, Texas, but Conrad said he told officers he has lived for the last three to four years in Grand Junction.
Gammill was left in custody of the La Plata County Jail.