Three charged in Grumpy’s bar gunplay |

Three charged in Grumpy’s bar gunplay

Sky-Hi News staff report

Charges have been filed against an off-duty deputy, a Grand Lake firefighter and the owner of a Grand Lake bar for after-hours gunplay inside the bar.

Shawn Murphy, who served as a Grand County deputy for 10 years until he lost his job following an internal investigation of the gunplay incident, faces a Class 5 felony charge of illegal discharge of a weapon, a Class 2 misdemeanor for prohibited use of a weapon, a Class 3 misdemeanor charge for reckless endangerment and a class 1 petty offense charge for disorderly conduct.

Colin Steward, a firefighter who has since resigned from the Grand Lake Fire Protection District, faces a Class 5 felony illegal discharge of a firearm, disorderly conduct, prohibited use of a weapon and reckless endangerment.

Gary Gates, owner of the Grand Avenue bar Grumpy’s where the alleged “target practice” took place, faces a Class 5 felony charge of illegal discharge of a firearm and disorderly conduct.

The Class 5 felony offense carries a maximum penalty of three years in state prison plus probation. The Class 2 misdemeanor for prohibited use of a weapon has a maximum penalty of 12 months in county jail, and the Class 3 misdemeanor has a penalty of up to six months in jail.

Charges were filed by the Eagle County District Attorney’s Office due to a perceived conflict of interest in the 14th Judicial District office.

The alleged shooting practice took place in early January when Steward, formerly a detentions deputy with Grand County, and off-duty deputy Murphy shot bullets from a 9mm semi-automatic pistol into the west wall of Grumpy’s saloon, according to the affidavit for the search warrant granted to Joseph DeAngelo, chief investigator of the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

DeAngelo ascertained from his search on Feb. 4 and Feb. 5 that Grumpy’s owner Gates brought out the weapon after the bar closed and allowed Steward and Murphy to handle the gun.

Further study found that two of the discharged rounds may have hit the Out West Giftfitters building next door. As many as 50 holes were found in the wall, according to the affidavit.

According to Grand Lake code, it is illegal for anyone besides an officer in the line of duty to shoot a live weapon in the town of Grand Lake.

The disposition hearing for the suspects is scheduled for June 15.

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