Deputy to be taken off life support

Thursday, Feb. 11, 2016 4:50 AM

The Mesa County Sheriff’s Office says a deputy shot by a teenage suspect will be taken off life support.

Officials said Tuesday that Deputy Derek Geer was being kept alive so that he could donate his organs but that support will be removed once that process is complete.

Geer was one of several deputies who responded to a report of a person walking with a gun in Grand Junction Monday and encountered a 17-year-old boy.

The Daily Sentinel of Grand Junction reported that Geer began talking to him but an altercation ensued after Geer told him that he was going to be detained. Geer fired a Taser that struck the boy but he pulled out a handgun and fired at Geer, a 15-year department veteran.

Geer was bleeding heavily from his face and had a pulse so weak a first responder could not feel it, dispatch recordings show.

“I have an officer down,” a man said over his police radio. “I have a wound to his face – bleeding heavily.”

“I need an ambulance!” the man then called, according to dispatch recordings archived on

Authorities arrested a 17-year-old boy in the case, and they say charges against him are pending. The teen’s name has not been released.

Geer was shot as he and other officers responded about 11 a.m. to reports of an armed person in the 500 block of Fruitvale Court in Grand Junction, according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

The person was seen walking south, across the Interstate 70 Business Loop and along a set of railroad tracks.

Geer came across a person matching the suspect’s description near E Road and 30½ Road, authorities say, at which point the teen tried to flee.

Geer deployed the Taser.

“The suspect then fired several rounds at Deputy Geer, striking him multiple times,” according to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office.

Geer, 40, a U.S. Navy veteran, has served with the Mesa County Sheriff’s Office since October 2001. He is a married father of two children, ages 13 and 11.

“This is truly a tragedy for us,” Sheriff Matt Lewis said. “Our thoughts and prayers are with Deputy Geer and his family during this tragic time.”

An investigation into the incident has been turned over to the 21st Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team.

Lewis said a handgun used by the suspect, who was reported to have been wearing a bandana over his face, has been recovered by investigators.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.