LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — Fort Collins Police Services says a man wanted for an attempted murder in May has been arrested after disappearing with an infant he was babysitting.

Police said the first incident happened on May 11 around 7:20 a.m. They said a woman told them that someone stole her purse from her vehicle. The woman told police that after she reviewed her home security footage, she noticed the suspect’s vehicle, which was a black Subaru.

The woman said she saw the Subaru that morning and tried to follow it in her vehicle. Police said she yelled at the driver to return her purse, but that’s when the suspect allegedly threatened her with a handgun and drove away. She continued following the Subaru and the suspect started shooting at her while driving recklessly through a school zone and areas with pedestrians present, police said.

The woman eventually stopped following the Subaru and called police with the license plate and description of the vehicle.

No injuries were reported.

During the investigation, police said they gathered evidence from the path of the reported shooting, including shell casings. They also conducted witness interviews. Eventually, they identified the suspect as Gabriel Motta, 50, of Fort Collins. Police said they submitted an arrest warrant for Motta in July.

Second incident

FCPS said they received a report of a missing 9-month-old child on July 19 at around 8:15 a.m. The infant’s parents told police they took the baby to his babysitter, who was identified as Gabriel Motta, at 5 p.m. on July 17.

Police said they learned that in addition to the warrant for the May incident, Motta also had a felony warrant from the Department of Corrections, as well as a protection order from the parents of the infant.

Less than an hour after the infant was reported missing, police said they found Motta and the baby at the downtown transit center.

Police said the baby was inside a stroller and a handgun was located under the blanket he was lying on. The infant was not injured but he was taken to the hospital for a health assessment.

“With a weapon hidden so close to an infant, and within reach of an individual who has such blatant disregard for human life, it’s a miracle nobody was harmed,” said Assistant Chief Tim Doran, who leads the Criminal Investigation Division. “I’m grateful to our detectives for their diligent work on the shooting case and officers who quickly rescued this child from further danger.”

Police said methamphetamine and several stolen items were also recovered during the investigation.

Motta was booked into the Larimer County Jail and faces the following charges:

May incident charges:

  • Attempted first degree murder
  • Illegal discharge of a firearm
  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender
  • Felony menacing

July incident charges:

  • Possession of a weapon by a previous offender
  • Criminal possession of two or more financial devices
  • Unlawful possession of a controlled substance
  • Child abuse
  • Violation of a protection order

Motta is being held on a $125,000 combined cash and surety bond. He is scheduled to appear in court on Wednesday at 8:30 a.m.