Shots Fired, Neighborhood Too Afraid To Call Cops

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

More than a dozen shots were fired into the air behind Jalapeno's Hot Spot on the south end of Pueblo sometime around 2:00 a.m. Saturday.

The first time the police heard about it was Wednesday. That's because no one bothered to call them and report it.

KKTV talked to several of the people living near the bar, and they say the situation on the weekends is getting worse. "Years ago, all we had to worry about was just destruction and now it's bullets," says one home owner. Sally, we agreed to change her name so that no one would seek retaliation against her, worries about relatives that come to visit. "Sometimes they'll come and they'll stay overnight, you know, on a weekend."

Sally has found bullet holes in her roof from people firing guns into the air in the bar's parking lot and adjacent alleyway. Now she's concerned that someday the guns may not be pointing into the air when they're fired.

Other neighbors refused to talk to us on the record about what happens on weekend nights behind the bar. Many of them stated they didn't want anyone coming after them for speaking out. The Pueblo Police Department tells me, they understand the attitude but it doesn't make their job any easier. "People need to take an active role in protecting themselves and protecting their community," says Deputy Chief John Ercul.

Ercul says, it's frustrating when things like this happen, especially when a shooting goes unreported. In the month of August, there were 65 reports of shots being fired in Pueblo. Ercul says, sadly many more occur and don't get reported.

Investigators with the police department urge the community to call in when they hear someone firing a weapon. Even if they don't give their name, or address, the other information they provide may lead investigators to a break in a case.

Because of forensic science, investigators can match bullet casings to a single weapon. The gun leaves unique marks on the spent casing just like a fingerprint. If a witness sees the gunman firing the weapon into the air one night, and reports it, investigators can collect that evidence. Later on if that same gun is used in another crime, the casings will already be on file, and police will have a lead on a suspect who may be responsible.

The bottom line, according to Deputy Chief Ercul is, "at some point, someone will have to just step up and kind of overcome that fear and give us the information we need."


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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Xana Location: Laveen on Nov 5, 2010 at 02:35 PM
    why dont people call the cops, what if some one got shot, and died that they knew? i think when ever you hear gun shots you should call tyhe cops, and i think it dont matter where you are this what i think.
  • by Roger Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 27, 2010 at 05:55 AM
    I live in Colorado Springs and the scene is very different, yet in many ways, it is much the same. The police are seemingly incapable of handling even the simplest of calls or responding in good order. All they seem to do is insist on getting the callers information and do nothing about the crime itself (except file another report). I got held up at knife point in a upscale shopping center on the north end of the Springs, needless to say I didn't even bother calling the police, I was late for a graduation party and wasn't going to miss it for the police to come and run warrents on me and write a report to get shelved. Neighborhoods need to begin protecting themselves, report it to the police, but don't hold high on expections. Now thanks to the CSPD's lack of action, I now carry a fully loaded handgun at all times, even in my own home.
  • by Stephanie Location: Pueblo on Sep 9, 2010 at 10:45 PM
    We have called 911 before and it just RINGS and RINGS no answer. There were 5 people calling at the same time no answer. A man died the rescue was too late.
  • by Carol on Sep 9, 2010 at 10:22 PM
    How do you even know that it is people at Jalapenos? I go to Jalapenos and there are some nights that they aren't even open. It is only open if there is a dance booked for the night. Sometimes there's dances on Sunday and sometimes on Friday, and sometimes they're not even open the whole weekend because there is no band booked. So it could mean that it is just a group of people who are around there shooting guns or causing problems. No one should be making statements if they don't know the whole truth and making Jalapenos look bad when they are good, honest hard working people.
  • by A Location: CO on Sep 9, 2010 at 10:12 PM
    To Mike above who posted on 9/8/10 @ 7:10pm and whoever else posting bad comments about Jalapenos....all of this is untrue. I also know the owners of this bar and if there were as many problems as "mike" is stating then cops would always be there which they are not. I know that for a fact. Jalapenos has never had problems with drugs, violence, or under age drinking. They're good owners. Whoever is saying that Jalapenos is always having problems is lying. And all the facts should be stated before a ONE-SIDED STORY IS PUT UP!!!
  • by Jenn Location: CO Springs on Sep 9, 2010 at 08:18 PM
    Nancy, you're right. My mother-in-law lives in Aurora and her son and his wife were staying at her house while we were gone for the weekend. They set off the panic alarm by accident and it took the cops an hour and a half to show up!! Now what if it was not a false alarm?
  • by Nancy Location: Pueblo on Sep 9, 2010 at 12:42 PM
    I think ANOTHER REASON why PEOPLE DON'T CALL THE COPS is because THEY NEVER COME! I have had to CALL THEM, SEVERAL TIMES, and THEY NEVER ARRIVED! The ONLY TIME THEY SHOW UP anywhere is when SOMEBODY IS VERY SICK, or HURT. The police say to CALL them, but WHAT GOOD IS IT TO CALL THEM, if they WON'T EVEN SHOW UP?
  • by real observation Location: cs on Sep 9, 2010 at 11:08 AM
    @Angelica.....so you're not afraid to be illegal. So basically you're not afraid to call yourself a criminal to whom I don't need to show any type of respect to whatsoever than, and a career criminal at that. I mean, it's not like you're showing any respect to the people who legally live here correct? But that's ok, your arrogance and snub of the law will eventually get your sorry low-educated butt kicked out of this country. And you won't be missed.
  • by Angelica Location: Colorado Springs on Sep 9, 2010 at 10:39 AM
    bob: if you send us to the middle the oceans to feed the sharks who is gonna clean your houseand clean your lawn .who can help to make the houses where u live. who work in the fields to make the vegetables u eat and im not afraid to be illegal because i work hard everyday so please just think if the sharks eat all mexicans who can help u but if u sen us to the ocean why can help sharks too we will help them survive because its who we are and wat we do im happy to be mexican everywhere u can people make stupid things not only mexican .....i hope no body got mad because my coment my boss is american he dont think like u guys think the mexican is not good
  • by Tony on Sep 9, 2010 at 10:30 AM
    MGR, I think Mommy needs to take away your computer privileges, you're starting to sound pretty ignorant. The headline is that the neighborhood is too afraid to call the cops. The biggest help to solve crimes is through the community. The ones that are alert and when they call, they give descriptions, license plate numbers, and other info that police are able to run with. But if no one is calling about what's going on, how are the police supposed to know? And I know you are pretty bitter about getting a speeding ticket but remember, police enforce traffic laws too. Remember, don't speed and you don't get a ticket. Pretty simple solution.
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