Victim in Hot Sulphur Springs shooting identified |

Victim in Hot Sulphur Springs shooting identified

Tonya Bina and Reid Tulley
Sky-Hi News
Investigators from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation examine a truck at the scene of a shooting in Hot Sulphur Springs on Monday morning. Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News
Byron Hetzler/Sky-Hi News | Sky-Hi News

Hot Sulphur Springs – Grand County Coroner Brenda Bock identified the victim of a Riverside Hotel shooting as Joshua Stevens, 31, of Coral, Mich.

Bock, who earlier Tuesday said the man died of gunshot wounds, said an autopsy will be performed at 11 a.m. on Wednesday to make official the cause and manner of the man’s death.

Shortly before midnight on April 1, Grand County Deputy District Attorney Heather Stein of the 14th Judicial District placed a 9-1-1 call to the Grand County Sheriff’s Office reporting a stranger at her front door at the Riverside property. The man was “behaving erratically and causing a disturbance,” according to a press release from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

The press release says the investigation revealed the intruder pushed his way into the house and an altercation ensued. It is believed shots were fired during this altercation outside the Stein’s residence in the 500 block of Grand Avenue in Hot Sulphur Springs.

Stein’s husband is Grand County Sheriff’s Lt. John Stein.

Both the deputy DA and the Sheriff’s deputy suffered minor injuries during the violent altercation with the man, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Authorities have not released the name of the officer involved in the shooting.

“There are no apparent ties to recent shootings,” the release states, “however, investigators continue to pursue all possible leads and background information on this person.”

Because the incident involves a deputy DA and a Sheriff’s deputy from Grand County, 14th Judicial District Attorney Brett Barkey has requested assistance from the Colorado Bureau of Investigation and the 1st Judicial District Attorney’s Office of Jefferson and Gilpin counties.

CBI continues to investigate events leading up to the shooting. The Critical Incident Team for Moffat, Grand and Routt counties is assisting in the investigation.

Both the deputy DA and the sheriff’s deputy have been put on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

A neighbor to the Riverside Hotel, Tim Nicklas, who lives at the corner of Grand Avenue and Aspen Street, corroborated with another witness that he heard three consecutive gun shots, and when he went to the scene, already officers were questioning John Stein. Nicklas overheard Stein tell them, “The family’s fine, the kids are OK.”

The former Riverside Hotel is a five bedroom, four bathroom two-story building on Grand Avenue built in 1910. The couple is renovating the building to make it a single-family home, said a contractor who arrived to work on Tuesday morning only to find a crime scene.

Heather Stein purchased the bank-owned property in September 2011, according to county records.

One witness who was getting her mail at the Hot Sulphur Springs Post Office on Monday night around the time of the shooting at the Riverside Hotel said she saw a “scuffle” take place in front of the Riverside property.

A neighbor said he heard an argument with “shouting and screaming” outside of the Riverside around 10:30 p.m. The neighbor, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he then heard a four-wheeler drive up the Parshall Divide. The noise from the argument then died down, he said.

Later while inside his home, the neighbor said he heard three consecutive gun shots, as did Nicklas. He ran to the scene, at which time another witness yelled at him to call 911.

At least two people witnessed the shooting. One woman – whose home was cordoned off across the street from the Riverside Hotel on Tuesday morning – said outside her home that she saw the incident take place. The witness was then discouraged from sharing further details by an on-scene officer.

Investigators Tuesday morning were dusting the outside of a parked white Ford truck for fingerprints. The vehicle, which was parked near the post office, belongs to the witness who was getting her mail at the time of the shooting. That witness declined to share what she saw with the Sky-Hi News. Her truck was later released to her.

9News, citing unidentified sources, reported Tuesday morning that Heather Stein fired at least one shot at the man who was killed. The Sky-Hi News has not been able to independently verify her involvement.

9News broke the story on its website early Tuesday morning.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

The Sky-Hi News strives to deliver powerful stories that spark emotion and focus on the place we live.

Over the past year, contributions from readers like you helped to fund some of our most important reporting, including coverage of the East Troublesome Fire.

If you value local journalism, consider making a contribution to our newsroom in support of the work we do.