Standoff in Hot Sulphur Springs ends peacefully Tuesday

McKenna Harford
SkyHi News
A SWAT team and the Grand County Sheriff's Office engage in a standoff at a home in Hot Sulphur Springs on Tuesday, Dec. 1.
Photo from Kevin Jones

GRANBY — A standoff between authorities and a man who allegedly fired two shots at officers while barricading inside a Hot Sulphur Springs home ended with the man in police custody.

On Tuesday, Dec. 1, the Grand County Sheriff’s Office went to serve warrants to Rusty Branstetter, 41, at his home at Grand and Aspen avenues, and the encounter resulted in a standoff.

According to the Sheriff’s Office, the warrants stemmed from an incident that happened Monday morning, when Branstetter allegedly threatened a woman with a gun. He is also accused of drilling holes into the woman’s car with a power drill.

When deputies tried to contact Branstetter on Tuesday, he reportedly retreated into his house before deputies and law enforcement established a perimeter around the home.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team assisted the Grand County Sheriff’s Office in serving warrants charging Branstetter with felony menacing, criminal mischief and violating bail.

While police were directing him to surrender, Branstetter allegedly fired two rounds at officers from inside his house. After two hours of negotiations, Branstetter surrendered to police at about 11:26 a.m.

Residents in the area received an alert to shelter in their homes at about 9 a.m., and the Sheriff’s Office lifted that request at 11:45 a.m. after Branstetter surrendered.

“The Grand County Sheriff’s Office takes all threats of violence within our county seriously,” Grand County Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said in a statement. “We understand how these situations can be very scary and appreciate the community’s compliance when asked to remain in their homes and shelter in place.”

Branstetter was previously arrested Nov. 14 for allegedly eluding police officers, failing to appear in court and driving on a suspended license.

Local police departments and the Hot Sulphur Springs Fire Department also responded to the incident Tuesday. The investigation into the incident is ongoing by the 14th Judicial District Attorney’s Office.

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