It’s no secret – certainly not around here – that the four rules of gun safety are pretty important and the reason behind each one should be fairly self-evident. But if there’s one of them that probably gets short shrift in comparison to the other three, it’s number four – know your target and what’s behind it. Most people figure, “What’s the big deal? I know what I’m shooting at. Hell, I’m looking right at it.” Derrill Rockwell was most likely thinking something along those lines when he grabbed his .22 to chase away a bird outside his Grand Junction, Colorado home that he thought has been harassing his two cats. Except it wasn’t a bird . . .
Rockwell shot once but said he didn’t see the bird fly away. Soon after, he heard a woman’s voice, moaning in pain. Rockwell discovered a 23-year-old woman, with a large red mohawk, with a gunshot wound to the head.
“In 15 years in law enforcement, this was one of the more interesting cases I’ve worked,” Grand Junction Police Department detective Sean Crocker told the judge Friday.
And that was only the beginning of the story as reported by gjsentinel.com. Rockwell, who had been convicted of attempted burglary in 1995, wasn’t supposed to own a gun. He then lied about what happened and tossed the rifle into the Colorado River. And it turns out that the woman with the bright plumage may have initially passed out near Rockwell’s home as a result of the meth that was found in her possession.
Somehow, though, this colossal cluster managed to work itself out better than any of the participants had a right to expect after Rockwell decided he couldn’t live with what he did and came clean.
Rockwell, 49, was sentenced to serve five years probation after pleading guilty to felony possession of a weapon by a prior offender.
The District Attorney’s Office dismissed remaining charges, including tampering with evidence, reckless endangerment, disorderly conduct and false reporting. He was ordered to pay more than $10,000 in restitution.
As for the Mohawk maned meth-head, she evidently recovered from her wound and quickly skipped town.
Rockwell’s victim didn’t attend Friday’s hearing. (Deputy District Attorney Jason) Conley said she left Colorado after the shooting and couldn’t be contacted….
Just guessing, but that may have something to do with a possible controlled substance charge she probably thought was waiting for her. Long story short: know your target and what’s behind it, mkay?