Update: Camper Travis Johnson Allegedly Caused C-470 Shutdown Via Bogus Gun Claim

Categories: Colorado Crimes

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Travis Johnson. Additional photos and more below.
Update: We previously told you about the reports of people with long guns that shut down C-470 Monday evening right before a OneRepublic concert at Red Rocks; see our previous coverage below. Now, law enforcers say the incident was caused by a homeless man, Travis Johnson (accompanied by a woman, Gabrielle Shirk), who said he was armed, then claimed to have seen others who were. Moreover, what was reported as a third related arrest at the giant Tipsy's Liquor World outlet appears not to have been related at all. Continue for the weird details.

See also: State Patrol Targets Tipsy's Liquor World

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An image from 9News coverage.
According to 9News, Johnson and Shirk had been camping beneath an overpass at C-470 and Bowles, since August 24 but had briefly left their campsite on Monday -- and upon their return, they found two Jefferson County deputies and a ranger dismantling the site.

At that point, Johnson allegedly claimed, "I got guns on you," causing the authorities to scatter and call in for backup while Johnson and Shirk took cover.

The latter two were reportedly found at around 5:55 p.m. after a 45 minute search. But the situation wasn't over yet: 9News maintains that at least one member of the couple then said they'd seen two other people with guns in the vicinity, causing the search to drag on for considerably longer.

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Another 9News image.
C-470 wasn't reopened until after 7 p.m., with the blockade causing huge backups in either direction and delaying many a OneRepublic fan.

As for Johnson and Shirk, they'd apparently been drinking -- and indeed, their campsite was only a short distance from Tipsy's, among the largest liquor stores in the State of Colorado. 9News had quoted deputies as revealing that an arrest at Tipsy's appeared to have been related to the shutdown incident, but no one's saying that now.

Meanwhile, 7News states that Johnson and Shirk had only been homeless for a short time -- and Shirk still has an active Facebook page featuring the following photo:

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The page lists her as having previously worked at a local hotel.

The pair's records include past jail time and probation, but it doesn't appear Shirk was charged this time around -- at least not at last report. Johnson, for his part, is facing a felony menacing beef. And while the sheriff's office is saying sorry for delaying highway travelers, there are apologies for the closure, which was ordered out of an abundance of caution, not knowing if Johnson's assorted tales were true.

Here are full-size booking photos for Johnson and Shirk, followed by our previous coverage.

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Gabrielle Shirk.

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Travis Johnson.
Continue for our previous coverage of the C-470 closure incident, including additional photos and a video.


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16 comments
Eileen Law
Eileen Law

Practically in our backyard. We were eating on the deck, wondering why a helicopter was making endless circles near us.

John Pinnick
John Pinnick

We should consider banning alcohol. Sounds like booze was the cause of this problem. We should shut down Tipsy's, it's too big and promotes alcoholism.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

As recounted by the police, it would seem that there was no justification for the closure of C-470; it was a demonstration of the power of the police, as opposed to a public safety measure.  Spotting an unidentified piece of debris along I-70 did not justify closing the main East-West route across Colorado for over five hours yesterday, either.  Between mass false arrests (such as occurred in Aurora after a bank robbery, or in Littleton last week) and arbitrary road closures, irresponsible law enforcement is trampling civil rights and threatening public safety.  The idiots responsible for such decisions need to be removed, or at the very least deprived of the power to repeat such outrages.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

So people tearing down these people's "home" caused the highway shutdown.

David Starry
David Starry

Anything that prevents pop music at that holy shrine is okay in my book.

Megan Elle
Megan Elle

It was a big deal and the idiots who committed it got off way easy, I think 9 news said the bond was only a couple thousand and only charged with felony menacing which is like an f5 .... For threatening officers leading to having to close a highway etc etc

Keri J
Keri J

The no incident incident.

Chelsea Hird
Chelsea Hird

Niki Burton, Keri J this is why c-470 was closer yesterday....

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

If police are going to order major roadways shut down, they'd better arrest somebody.

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