Update: Camper Travis Johnson Allegedly Caused C-470 Shutdown Via Bogus Gun Claim
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.
Travis Johnson. Additional photos and more below.
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.
An image from 9News coverage.
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.
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:
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.