Dad says son’s shooting on I-70 may be suicide-by-cop |

Dad says son’s shooting on I-70 may be suicide-by-cop

Brian Fritze, killed Feb. 11 by Garfield County deputies after fleeing on Interstate 70 in the red pickup shown here. Fritze got out of the truck after a chase, held a gun to his head and then ran toward traffic before turning back toward officers.
Harry Faulkner / Special to the Post Independent |

GRAND JUNCTION — A man shot and killed by authorities along Interstate 70 in western Colorado struggled with drugs and alcohol and may have wanted to be killed by law enforcement, his father told a newspaper.

Brian Fritze, 45, of Parachute died Tuesday following a chase after he was accused of beating an unidentified woman.

After being stopped west of Glenwood Springs, he first pointed a handgun at his head and then was shot by one or both Garfield County sheriff’s deputies at the scene as he walked toward I-70 with a gun, authorities said.

His father, Melvin “Skip” Fritze of Norman, Oklahoma, told The Daily Sentinel in a story Thursday that his son had struggled with alcohol and drugs during periods of his life and recently returned to using amid marital problems.

Brian Fritze served time in prison in Oklahoma for assault and battery and, after moving to Garfield County, he was arrested multiple times on offenses including driving under the influence. In December, he was arrested on misdemeanor offenses related to domestic violence.

Melvin Fritze said his son had said he didn’t want to go back to prison.

“Personally, I feel that he let the law enforcement people do the job he couldn’t do,” Melvin Fritze said.

He said his son worked concrete and drilling jobs in Colorado and had good drug-free periods in his life.

The Colorado Bureau of Investigation is probing the shooting. The two unidentified deputies are on paid administration leave.

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