Authorities say the man who claimed to have been shot while attempting to help another motorist on Highway 13 north of Rifle earlier this month was not such a good samaritan after all… According to a press release from the Garfield County Sheriff’s Office, the man told authorities he was shot while approaching a disabled vehicle shortly after midnight on July 16. He said he was able to return to his vehicle and met a waiting ambulance at the Rifle Bowling Alley. He was ultimately flown to St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction for treatment of his injuries. Sheriff’s Investigators now say they believe the man’s gunshot was self-inflicted.
While the circumstances surrounding the man’s decision to shoot himself are under investigation, the Sheriff’s Office says they decided to release preliminary information in order to relieve residents who have been on edge since incident. Statewide law enforcement agencies who were looking for a suspect vehicle in the case have already been told that vehicle doesn’t exist.
The Sheriff’s Office also offered advice to any genuine good samaritans: If you see a disabled vehicle on the side of the road, it’s recommended that you report the situation to law enforcement rather than stopping yourself. Non emergency phone numbers can be found by dialing 411 on your mobile device and in a life threatening situation, even cell phones with no paid service can dial 911. If you see an accident though, it’s a different story; Anyone who witnesses a crash is required by law to stop.