Woman’s face bloodied in incident before I-70 chase, fatal shooting
February 13, 2015
Called to a home Tuesday in Parachute, Garfield County deputies arrived to find a woman with her face covered in blood.
She told them that Brian P. Fritze had approached her with a gun, grabbed her by the throat and slammed her head into a door frame and a wall before pinning her down and striking her repeatedly with his fists.
The Garfield County Sheriff's office Thursday released that information about the domestic violence call that preceded the high-speed chase and shooting death of Brian P. Fritze, 45, of Parachute.
The account of the call said that the woman told deputies someone else arrived and pulled Fritze off of her. She said Fritze fled.
Officers were able to get statements from the woman and her rescuer, including a description of Fritze and his red pickup.
About an hour later, deputies spotted the truck and attempted to apprehend Fritze. He sped onto the interstate, starting the 28-mile chase that ended with the fatal confrontation just west of Glenwood Springs.
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After the Colorado State Patrol used spikes to flatten the front tires of the truck, Fritze exited the interstate about 3 miles east at Canyon Creek. There, authorities have said, he got out of the truck, held a gun to his head and then ran toward an embankment and interstate traffic. Sheriff's spokesman Walt Stowe has said Fritze turned back toward deputies and was shot.
A preliminary autopsy showed he suffered multiple gunshot wounds.
The deputies involved are on administrative leave pending the outcome of an examination of the incident by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. The leave is a non-disciplinary action that is standard protocol for officer-involved shootings, Stowe said Thursday.
Fritze has an extensive criminal history in Colorado and Oklahoma.
A CBI records check showed that he was arrested in May 2014 for assault, domestic violence and child abuse without injury, all misdemeanors; and in December for misdemeanor harassment, false imprisonment and violation of a protective order involving domestic violence. He also had two drunken driving charges in Colorado.
He was imprisoned in 2004 and 2005 in Oklahoma for convictions for assault, grand larceny and possession of a controlled substance.
Otherwise, little public information is available on Fritze, who lived in Oklahoma and served in the military before coming to Colorado to work in the oil and gas industry.
In an online comment, Suzanne Parker described him as him as "a very well mannered young man" from a good family.
"Somewhere along the way, he got lost with the right principles and following rules and the law," she wrote. "Alcoholism is a terrible disease, and became his path to destruction." Other commenters also noted his struggles with alcohol.
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