Area residents are mourning the loss of a man they knew as a hard-working employee of the Patio, Ignacio's primary spot to eat and catch up on local news. He was shot by a co-worker's husband, who later killed himself.
Just before 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, 33-year-old Joel Ferguson shot Jake Bramwell, 27, several times with a handgun at Bramwell's residence at the Sky Ute Downs RV Park in Ignacio, according to the La Plata County Sheriff's Office. Both are La Plata County residents. They two had a disagreement, according to the sheriff's office.
Ferguson fled the scene in a silver Toyota pickup truck immediately after shooting Bramwell.
About 15 minutes after the shooting was reported, a Bayfield Marshal's deputy attempted a traffic stop of Ferguson in his truck in the 5700 block of La Plata County Road 523. Once stopped, Ferguson immediately got out of his vehicle and shot himself in the head with a handgun, the sheriff's department said in a written statement.
Emergency personnel tried to revive Bramwell, but he was pronounced dead at the scene.
Bramwell worked at the Patio, and Ferguson is married to the daughter of the restaurant's owner, Emily Meisner.
"We are shocked and grieving the loss of both men," said a family friend of Meisner's. "We are deeply saddened for Jake's family as well. It's just a sad situation."
Ignacio residents said Bramwell was well-known in town and enjoyed riding bulls in local rodeos. He was raised in Pagosa Springs and still has family there.
Ferguson and his wife, Arielle, have two young children. Arielle Ferguson is a waitress at the restaurant.
Sheriff's investigators recovered two handguns from Ferguson's truck. Investigators interviewed an eyewitness to the shooting as well as other RV park residents who heard gunshots.
Ferguson was pronounced dead at Mercy Medical Center at around 11:30 a.m.
Autopsies were scheduled to be performed on both men on Wednesday.
The sheriff's office is continuing its investigation.
Anyone with information regarding this case is asked to contact sheriff's investigator Jim Hendricks at 382-7018.