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Three victims identified in deadly shooting in Custer County, suspect in custody

Posted at 3:50 PM, Nov 20, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-28 17:37:48-05

CUSTER COUNTY — Three people are dead, another is injured, and the suspect is in custody following a shooting in Custer County Monday.

Hanme Clark, who is 45 year's old, was taken into custody by New Mexico State Police just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. The news came after the Custer County Sheriff's Office posted an update on Facebook.

In a press conference Tuesday, Custer County Sheriff Rich Smith says that Clark was found in the white Ram truck that authorities were looking for near Albuquerque, New Mexico. It is unclear at this time if Clark was heading to a specific location.

Sheriff Smith says Clark was arrested peacefully, and another woman, who was later identified as Nancy Rae Medina-Kochis, was in the car with him. According to the Custer County Sheriff's Office, she has been charged with accessory to a crime.

Clark and Medina-Kochis are being held in New Mexico until they will be extradited to Colorado.

Clark's father had been in contact with law enforcement during the search, with Sheriff Smith says lasted about 25 hours.

The Custer County Coroner has identified the deceased as 63-year-old Rob Geers, 73-year-old Beth Wade, and 58-year-old James Daulton. Patty Daulton was the individual airlifted and is currently being treated in Colorado Springs for her injuries.

During the press conference, Sheriff Smith said that Geers and Wade are married, and the Daulton's are also married to each other.

The sheriff said that the Geers and the Daulton's shared a property line with Clark's.

The Custer County Sheriff's Office and other agencies were on the scene at 173 Rocky Ridge Rd. which is located northeast of Westcliffe in unincorporated Custer County.

According to Sheriff Smith, this incident started as a neighbor property dispute over an easement, which led to gunshots being fired. In a press conference Tuesday morning, the sheriff's office says they received the call just before 1 p.m. Monday.

It is unclear how many people were involved in the dispute, but a surveyor on the property line was with them. He was able to run safely from the scene.

The Custer County Sheriff's Office says that it took a total of 22 minutes before deputies could arrive on the scene. At this time, they believed Clark fled the area before law enforcement could arrive.

Following the shooting, the Fremont County Sheriff's SWAT team responded to provide assistance to the Custer County Sheriff's Office.

Geers, Wade, and James Daulton are dead as a result of the dispute. The sheriff's office says they were all shot multiple times. Patty Daulton, who was also shot multiple times, was flown to a Colorado Springs hospital. She is in critical condition, but the sheriff's office said she is expected to survive, and her condition is improving.

According to the arrest affidavit, Patty Daulton was the person who made the 911 call. The affidavit also says that the surveyor was with Geers when a man who was later deemed to be Clark, approached and yelled at them for trespassing.

Geers then called Clark by name, and the surveyor says he believed that Geers was taking video of the interaction. The affidavit says that Clark had numerous disputes with neighbors over property lines, including one with Herbal Gardens & Wellness, which is located along Rocky Ridge Rd.

The four were found near each other close to the property line in a wooden area. The sheriff's office says that the shooter was on the victims' property when he shot them.

A couple days before the shooting, the affidavit says that Geers made a call in to the Custer County Sheriff's Office about an armed trespass. Geers believed the trespasser to be Clark, stating that he believed himself and Wade were victims of harassment.

In a press conference on Tuesday, Sheriff Smith who was emotional about the tragedy. He said his office was aware of the dispute between the parties, but could never have imagined it would elevate to this level of violence.

An emergency management notification was sent just before 10 a.m. Tuesday indicated that the Sheriff's Office believed Clark had left the area.

Monday evening, the Salida Police Department was notified that Clark's truck was spotted at the Walmart in the town. Surveillance video from that Walmart shows a woman entering the store, buying items, then returning to Clark's vehicle. The truck is then seen leaving the parking lot, and traveling southbound on County Rd. 111 located in the southwest part of Salida.

Clark had a warrant out for his arrest for the following charges:

  • three counts of first degree murder
  • criminal attempt
  • attempted first degree murder
  • first degree assault

Clark does have an extensive background in Mixed Martial Arts and was a former fighter with Pancrase MMA, a Denver-based MMA management team. Team Management confirmed with News5 that Clark was one of their fighters but have not been in contact with him since 2009 or 2010.
The Custer County Sheriff's Office says that they sent an "Everbridge" alert to people in the area who needed to shelter in place. That alert was in effect from around 1:45 p.m. until just after 8 p.m. Monday.

To sign up for alerts, visit the Custer and Fremont County Everbridge Website.


Are you prepared for the worst?

This is a developing story. News5 will continue to update this article as more information becomes available.

RELATED: Lengthy neighbors' dispute investigators say led to deadly shooting


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