Pagosa Springs shooting suspect found dead with self-inflicted wound

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 10:22 PM
The shooting suspect who killed Ski & Bow Rack owner Larry Fisher is seen inside the store Sunday in Pagosa Springs. The suspect was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound last week in Chama, N.M.

A suspect in the fatal shooting last week at Ski & Bow Rack in Pagosa Springs was found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound near the Colorado-New Mexico line, according to authorities.

New Mexico State Police spokesman Ray Wilson said in a prepared statement that officers were dispatched to a residence near Chama, New Mexico, around 1:30 p.m. March 14 in reference to an unattended death.

Officers found 29-year-old Michael Moats of Pagosa Springs dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound, Wilson said.

Pagosa Springs Police Chief Bill Rockensock said Moats was one of several people questioned by Colorado Bureau of Investigation and local detectives in connection with the Ski & Bow Rack shooting.

Moats was questioned, then released, Rockensock said. The Pagosa Springs Police Department still considers its investigation open and ongoing.

On March 11, authorities say an unidentified suspect broke into Ski & Bow Rack at 354 East Pagosa St. with the intent to burglarize the store.

Around 9:30 p.m., authorities believe owner Larry Fisher, 71, interrupted the robbery and was shot once in the chest. He was flown to a hospital in Denver where he was pronounced dead a few hours later.

The Pagosa Springs Police Department is investigating the incident as a homicide.

Police have sent evidence to a forensic lab on the Front Range, which could take a couple weeks to get back. Authorities are also still looking for tips and interviewing people.

“I don’t think we can draw any conclusions at this time,” said Andrea Phillips, Pagosa Springs town manager.

Phillips stressed that police do not believe there is an immediate public safety risk related to the shooting.

The suspect, who was captured on surveillance cameras, wore a hooded camouflage jacket and what looked like snow pants.

A possible vehicle is being sought in connection with the incident: a late 1980s to late 1990s white Toyota Forerunner or Nissan Pathfinder, very muddy, with possible homemade camouflage on the bottom of the vehicle and a roof rack.

Anyone with information about the suspect or vehicle can email tips to or call 264-4151, ext. 243.