Shooting in Yampa sends man to hospital, another to jail

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— A 33-year-old Yampa man is being held in the Routt County Jail after he allegedly shot a man with an assault rifle Saturday night.

Warren Dean Hillbolt III faces a charge of first-degree attempted murder for the shooting that occurred at his trailer at 116400 Colorado 131, Routt County Sheriff John Warner said Sunday evening.

Warner would not reveal specifics of the shooting nor the identity of the victim.

"We have to review all the details with the district attorney," the sheriff said. He said he expected to be able to release more information today.

Sheriff's deputies responded to the trailer home in Yampa about 8:30 p.m. Saturday. They found the victim in a car outside with a person who witnessed the shooting, Warner said.

"They were about to leave," he said. "We were able to stop them and call an ambulance."

The man had been shot in his right shoulder, Warner said. He was taken to Yampa Valley Medical Center, treated for the wound and released Sunday evening, a hospital spokesman said.

Hillbolt was taken into custody after deputies were able to talk him into giving himself up.

"It took about seven to 10 minutes to negotiate with him," Warner said. "He surrendered to deputies without incident."

Hillbolt was the victim of a knife attack outside City Market in 1998. The man who cut Hillbolt's throat during the racially-motivated fight, Kenneth Ferguson, was initially charged with second-degree attempted murder. However, a jury found him guilty of a lesser charge, first-degree assault. Ferguson was sentenced to five years in prison.

On Sunday morning, deputies obtained a warrant to search Hillbolt's trailer.
There, they confiscated numerous firearms, along with the alleged weapon used in the shooting, a 9 mm semi-automatic assault rife, he said.

Warner was pleased with the way his deputies handled a tense situation.

"The deputies did an excellent job," he said. "He could have barricaded himself in the trailer."

Warner believes the victim was fortunate to escape with the shoulder injury.

"He took a shot from a 9 mm rifle," he said. "He could be in a lot worse shape than he is in now."

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