WESTCLIFFE, CO – After an afternoon shooting on Monday that left three people dead and one injured, authorities in rural Colorado are urgently searching for the suspect, who fled the scene following a reported disagreement over property boundaries.
Custer County Sheriff Lloyd “Rich” Smith announced that the incident occurred around 1 p.m. in a wooded location in Custer County, where the shooter opened fire on five individuals, killing three. One woman has been hospitalized with gunshot wounds; however, she is expected to survive. Another individual narrowly escaped unharmed. Smith shared this information during a Monday evening press conference.
The suspect, identified as 45-year-old Hanme K. Clark, remains at large. Clark is described as 6 feet 3 inches tall, weighing approximately 200 pounds, with brown hair and eyes. It is believed he may be driving a white Dodge Ram 1500 with a matching topper, license plate BHLK27.
Sheriff Smith stated that previous civil conflicts over property lines and easements involved Clark and at least one of the victims, shedding light on a possible motive for the shooting. The nature of Clark’s relationship with the other victims is yet undisclosed.
This event marks the 609th instance this year in the United States of a mass shooting wherein four or more individuals were injured or killed, excluding the shooter, according to data from the Gun Violence Archive.
Authorities, including a Fremont County SWAT team and drone support, responded to a remote area of Custer County close to the Fremont County line. Upon arrival, the risk to officers was escalated given the absence of the shooter’s whereabouts. Emergency responders successfully evacuated the surviving victim to a Level 1 trauma center in Colorado Springs.
A local order for residents to shelter in place was raised shortly after the incident at 1:43 p.m. but was later lifted the same evening. Despite the suspect’s evasion, Smith expressed confidence late Monday in having a solid lead on Clark’s location, stating that law enforcement is coordinating with another agency to apprehend him.
The investigation remains ongoing, with multiple agencies involved. Officials urge the public to remain vigilant and report any sightings of Clark or the suspected vehicle. Authorities emphasize that Clark should be considered armed and dangerous.