A 27-year-old man accused of a shooting at 8th Ave. Tavern on Friday, injuring two people, was arrested on suspicion of seven counts of attempted murder in the first degree, a felony.
According to the Durango Police Department, the suspect, Michael Quirova, was standing in the alley on the other side of East Eighth Avenue when he shot six to seven times into the covered, outdoor area of the tavern, hitting the victims.
Durango police said the victims included a 29-year-old man shot through the leg and a 41-year-old woman shot through the shoulder. Both were taken to Mercy Regional Medical Center and were in stable condition as of Saturday.
Cmdr. Ray Shupe did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
According to an arrest affidavit, officers responded around 11 p.m. Friday after it was reported to emergency dispatch that two people were shot at 8th Ave. Tavern, 509 East Eighth Ave.
Authorities received a tip that the suspect took off on foot headed east in the 800 block of College Drive onto Goeglein Gulch Road. Officers located Quirova in the 400 block of Goeglein Gulch Road.
Officers held Quirova at gunpoint, the arrest affidavit said. Quirova resisted arrest and tried to pull away from officers, requiring the use of a Taser gun. Quirova continued to resist arrest, but was eventually handcuffed.
Quirova then told officers he was COVID-19 positive and coughed in an officer’s face, court documents show.
Several witnesses identified Quirova as the shooter. Investigators also matched fresh footprints in the snow from 8th Ave. Tavern to the 400 block of Goeglein Gulch Road to boots Quirova was wearing.
Quirova was cleared medically and then taken to the La Plata County Jail. The only statement he gave to authorities on the way to the jail, according to the arrest affidavit, was, “Why did this take so long?”
At the jail, Quirova started resisting again and fought jail staff members. He was taken to the ground and placed in a resistance wrap.
Quirova was cited with seven counts of attempted murder in the first degree because seven people were located on the outdoor patio at the time of the alleged shooting, the arrest affidavit said.
Quirova was also cited with second-degree assault for telling officers he had COVID-19 and then intentionally coughing in an officer’s face.
He was also cited with possession of a weapon by a previous offender because of a previous felony conviction, resisting arrest and violation of a protection order that says he is not allowed to have a firearm.
No mention is made in the arrest affidavit about why Quirova allegedly opened fired at 8th Ave. Tavern.
In a previous interview, Cmdr. Jacob Dunlop said, “This did not appear to start out at or have anything necessarily to do with the 8th Ave. Tavern.”
“As far as we can tell, the suspect was just in the area and had been hanging around nearby the tavern just before he decided to fire shots at the bar, but as far as we can tell, nothing was instigated inside,” Dunlop said.
Quirova was recently released from Hilltop House community corrections center, which provides transitional housing to parolees and criminal offenders who are required to work and earn income while living in the community.
Quirova wore an ankle bracelet because he was still on parole, Durango police previously said.
Quirova has a criminal record dating to 2008 that includes convictions for burglary, possession of a controlled substance, vehicular eluding and flight escape.
The Durango Police Department also announced Tuesday that detectives located and recovered a firearm that’s believed to be associated with the shooting.
“Securing of the firearm used in the shooting obviously helps an already strong criminal case,” DPD posted to social media. “But the fact that this firearm is no longer out in the community, and cannot be used to hurt anyone else, was our priority.”