• Mario Nicolais

Another day, another active shooter

A few weeks ago, I woke up to a SWAT vehicle outside my hotel.


In Montrose for a trial, my morning began with a police escort to the parking lot due to an active shooter in the Holiday Inn Express lobby.


Gilbert Garcia attempted to check in during the early morning hours of Wednesday. When staff told him the hotel had no vacancies, he became irate, began screaming, and brandished a gun, police said. Staff called the police and Garcia locked himself in the lobby business center where he remained until the incident concluded. Over the course of several hours, police say he made threats to himself and officers, eventually taking aim at them before the police shot him. Garcia incurred non-fatal wounds and will now face a slew of criminal charges associated with those hours of madness.


Given a week of reflection, nothing strikes me more than the reaction people had to the incident. Primarily a mix of inquisitive voyeurism and perturbed inconvenience, Garcia’s standoff lived in a moment destined to fade into our collective memories. The prevalence of armed men suffering from obvious mental anguish while threatening random strangers has become a common storyline in our society. In my own family, its been barely two years since my wife had to hide in her classroom when a gunman killed a police officer blocks away.


Read the rest of this column in the Colorado Sun.

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