Mendenhall Jr. arrested in fatal shooting of Moffat man

MOFFAT — A 31-year-old Chaffee County man was arrested in the shooting death of a Moffat man on Tuesday, June 21, the Saguache County Sheriff's Office reported. 

At approximately 7:25 p.m. on June 21, the Saguache County Sheriff's Office and the Northern Saguache County Ambulance District were dispatched to a Moffat residence.  

Upon arrival, a deputy and an EMT found Tracy Freel, 57, with a life-threatening gunshot wound to the upper right thigh. First aid was administered and Freel was transported to a helicopter landing zone in Villa Grove. While at the helicopter landing zone, Freel died. 

The suspect in the shooting was Kenneth Mendenhall Jr., 31, who fled northbound toward Salida, in a black, Chevy Tahoe, the sheriff's office reported. 

Chaffee County and the Salida Police Department were notified of the incident and assisted in making contact and detaining Mendenhall. 

At approximately 9 p.m., Chaffee County and the Salida Police Department detained Mendenhall until a Saguache County Sheriff's deputy arrived and took him into custody. 

Mendenhall was being held in the Saguache County Jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, first-degree assault, second-degree assault, reckless endangerment, prohibited use of a weapon, and child abuse. 

The Chaffee County Sheriff's Office, the Salida Police Department, the Colorado State Patrol, and Center Police Department all assisted with the incident.