ALAMOSA – A 27-year-old attorney, James Marshall, was released on bail from Alamosa County jail last week.
Marshall has been doing defense work and has an office above Milagros. During a peaceful protest the evening of June 4, Marshall allegedly shot a man in his vehicle as he drove by. His actions were filmed and have now been seen on social media. The victim, Danny Pruitt of Cañon City and believed to also reside in Fort Garland, sustained a gunshot wound to the back of his head, allegedly from a weapon fired by Marshall.
The Alamosa Police Department placed Marshall into custody on charges of attempted 2nd Degree murder, 1st Degree assault, reckless endangerment, felony menacing, criminal mischief, illegal discharge of a firearm and prohibited use of a weapon.
Pruitt was initially treated at San Luis Valley Health and later flown to UC Health Memorial in Colorado Springs. He was in stable condition and is reportedly being closely monitored
On June 6, A niece Hatcher created a GoFundMe campaign for the Pruitt family. Pruitt is reportedly a disabled veteran, father to a young daughter. So far, $98,947 of the $100,000 goal has been met. To donate, visit: https://www.gofundme.com/f/disabled-veteran-shot-in-back-of-head-by-protester?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet.
Protests have erupted nationwide in response to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis Police. Floyd’s murder highlights the police brutality disproportionately inflicted upon African Americans in the United States. While across the country many protests have become violent, the handful of Alamosa protests have remained peaceful – until June 5.
Local organizer, Emily, expressed the protesting community’s outrage at Marshall’s unnecessary, violent actions: “The grassroots movement -- which organized the events that took place in Alamosa -- does not condone this violence,” she said. “The man who performed this unimaginable action does not reflect the values of myself or any of the other attendees.”
Protestors on June 4 did not recognize Marshall, uncertain he had been present at previous demonstrations. Emily recalls noticing something “odd” about Marshall’s demeanor.
She explained, “His persona was off from the cohesion of the groups I had experienced at the other events.” All previous attendees had maintained the peace, “Even when passersby would yell out profanities or use inappropriate hand gestures.” During the June 4 protest, Emily said Marshall had “a somewhat aggressive demeanor and would often speak over myself and the other young women who were leading the chants.”
Just a day after the shooting, Marshall was released on bail – resulting in outcries from the community. The Alamosa Sherriff’s Office issued a response on Facebook:
“Bond was set at $60,000 and Mr. Marshall was financially able to post that bond. Mr. Marshall chose to exercise his constitutional right and posted his bond to get out of jail. This is the same right available to all American citizens.
“According to the United States Constitution and the Colorado Constitution, every person arrested for any crime is entitled to have a monetary bond set based upon the crime committed. When a person is arrested, they are processed at the County Jail and bond is set according to a bond schedule that is set by the Colorado Judicial Branch.
“Mr. Marshall’s bond was originally set at $50,000.00. Initially, Mr. Marshall did not post that bond. Mr. Marshall had a hearing in front of the Alamosa County Judge on Friday June 5, 2020; during that hearing, the defendant’s attorney requested a bond reduction, that request was denied by the Alamosa County Judge.
“At that hearing, the judge actually increased the bond from $50,000.00 to $60,000.00 which was the proper amount required based upon the charges against the defendant.
“We recognize that this type of crime and these types of allegations are concerning to the citizens of this community. Please understand that the Sheriff’s Office and local law enforcement take your concerns very seriously.”
Marshall’s next hearing is tomorrow, June 9 at 10 a.m.