Custer County suspect who allegedly killed 3 over property dispute arrested in New Mexico, deputies say

The Custer County Coroner identified those killed as Rob Geers, Beth Wade, and James Daulton
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Posted at 3:16 PM, Nov 21, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-22 18:49:06-05

DENVER — A man from southern Colorado who allegedly shot and killed three people and injured another over a property dispute Monday afternoon has been arrested in New Mexico following a daylong manhunt, according to the Custer County Sheriff's Office.

Hanme Clark, 45, was taken into custody by New Mexico Police just before 3 p.m. Tuesday. The news came after the Custer County Sheriff's Office posted an update on Facebook.

During a press conference following his arrest, Custer County Sheriff Rich Smith said Clark was found in a white Ram truck that authorities were looking for near Albuquerque, NM. It's unclear at this time if Clark was heading to a specific location, he said, but the man was found with another woman inside the vehicle, later identified as Nancy Rae Medina-Kochis. she has been charged with accessory to a crime. The suspect will stay in New Mexico overnight and most likely be extradited to Colorado on Wednesday.

"I hope that this brings relief to the neighborhood and the community and more importantly, closure to the families of the victims and their friends,” said Smith as he announced Clark's arrest.

The Custer County Coroner identified those killed in the shooting as Rob Geers, 63; his wife, Beth Wade, 73; and James Daulton, 58. Patty Daulton, James' wife and another one of the victims, was airlifted and is currently being treated in Colorado Springs for her injuries, a spokesperson with the sheriff's office said. She was last listed in critical condition, but the sheriff's spokesperson said she is expected to survive.

All of the victims shared a property line with the suspect, according to authorities.

Smith said earlier the deadly shooting began as a neighbor property dispute over an easement at 173 Rocky Ridge Rd., northeast of Westcliffe in unincorporated Custer County. The sheriff's office received the call just before 1 p.m. Monday, Smith said in a press conference on Tuesday.

It is unclear how many people in total were involved in the dispute, but a surveyor on the property line was with them. He was able to run safely from the scene.

Smith said it took a total of 22 minutes before deputies could arrive on the scene, which they believe was enough time for the suspect to flee the area before law enforcement could arrive.

Following the shooting, the Fremont County Sheriff's SWAT team responded to help the Custer County Sheriff's Office in the shooting investigation.

Custer County shooting suspect who allegedly killed 3 arrested in New Mexico

The four victims were found near each other close to the property line in a wooded area. Smith said the shooter was on the victims' property when he shot them.

During the press conference Tuesday, the Custer County sheriff said his office was aware of the dispute between those involved, but could never have imagined it would elevate to this level of violence.

An emergency management notification was sent just before 10 a.m. Tuesday indicating that the sheriff's office believed Clark had left the area. The suspect had a warrant out for his arrest for three counts of first-degree murder.

Clark does have an extensive background in Mixed Martial Arts and was a former fighter with Pancrase MMA, a Denver-based MMA management team. Team Management confirmed with our sister station, KOAA-TV, that Clark was one of their fighters but have not been in contact with him since 2009 or 2010.

On Monday, the Custer County Sheriff's Office said it had sent out an "Everbridge" alert to people in the area who needed to shelter-in-place. That alert was in effect from around 1:45 p.m. until just after 8 p.m. Monday.

To sign up for alerts, visit the Custer and Fremont County Everbridge Website.

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