Police search for man accused of shooting off-duty Pueblo firefighter who was protecting a homeless man

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PUEBLO, Colo. (KDVR) — (UPDATE: June 10, 2021):  After the Pueblo Police Department announced Esteban Gallegos as a suspect in this case, new information was discovered that ruled Gallegos out as the shooter. The arrest warrant that was issued for Gallegos related to this incident has been cleared and the Pueblo Police Department is no longer looking for him. Detectives have recovered the vehicle involved in this incident and are asking the community for help in locating the owner, 41-year-old Tonya Albach-Ortega. Albach-Ortega is described as a White female, 5’01”, 178lbs. with brown hair and hazel eyes.

Original story:

The Pueblo Police Department is searching for a man who they say shot an off-duty firefighter who was protecting a homeless man who was being harassed.

It happened on Sunday at 12:25 a.m. in the 100 block of North Main Street. When police arrived, they discovered a man had been shot in the leg.

During the investigation police learned that the victim of the shooting was an off-duty Pueblo firefighter who was with a group of other off-duty firefighters.

Police said the victim witnessed at least one person harassing a homeless man who was experiencing a mental health issue. The victim helped the homeless man and the person who was harassing the homeless man left the area.

A short time later, the man who was allegedly harassing the homeless man returned and fired several rounds in the victim’s direction from a sedan that was parked outside of a nearby establishment, according to Pueblo police.

The man was taken to the hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries, according to Pueblo police.

Detectives with the Pueblo Police Department identified the suspect as Esteban Gallegos, 41.  

Police said an arrest warrant has been obtained for Gallegos for one count of first degree assault and eight counts of attempted first degree murder.

Detectives said they believe the vehicle involved in this incident is a 90s model Buick.

If you have any information about this incident, including the whereabouts of Gallegos or the suspect vehicle, please call Detective Ryan Torres at 719-320-6037.

To remain anonymous, contact Pueblo Crime Stoppers at 719-542-7867 or www.pueblocrimestoppers.com.

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