Hanme K. Clark, the Westcliffe man accused of murdering three neighbors and injuring one other on Monday, was taken into custody by New Mexico State Police on Tuesday afternoon. (Custer County Sheriff’s Office)
Hanme K. Clark, the Westcliffe man accused of murdering three neighbors and injuring one other on Monday, was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon during a high-risk felony traffic stop by New Mexico State Police and U.S. Marshals.
Custer County Sheriff Rich Smith said the suspect was arrested near Albuquerque in the same vehicle that he was believed to have been driving when he fled Westcliffe. A female was with Clark at the time of his arrest. No details have been released as far as her identity or her relation to Clark.
“That’s the best resolution for us is that no one got hurt – no cops got hurt, the suspect also did not get hurt,” Smith said.
Details are still being worked out regarding extraditing Clark back to Colorado, where he is facing three counts of first-degree murder.
Teams worked around the clock to locate Clark, Smith said, noting that it was about 25 hours from the time of the incident to the time of the apprehension.
“Now I want to take the focus off the suspect and put the focus on the victims,” Smith said.
Custer County Sheriff: Homicide victims had been involved in property line dispute with suspect
The incident that led to the shooting reportedly began with a property dispute at 173 Rocky Ridge Road on the property line in the wooded area.
Rob Geers, 63, and his wife, Beth Wade Geers, 73, along with James Daulton, 58, died at the scene of the shooting.
The fourth victim, Patty Daulton, is being treated at a trauma center for her injuries. Smith said her condition is improving.
Another witness ran to safety and provided information to law enforcement. Smith confirmed that Clark was not on his property at the time of the shooting.
Smith said the Geers and the Daultons own property that borders that of Clark.
“We’ve got the suspect in custody, that was the priority, now we’ve got a pretty lengthy investigation to go to take this case to prosecution,” Smith said.
Smith thanked the Fremont County Sheriff’s Swat team and crisis negotiation unit.
“We couldn’t have done any of that crime scene processing last night [without them],” he said.
He also thanked the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, the Colorado State Patrol and Colorado Parks and Wildlife for their assistance during the last 25 hours. Other surrounding agencies also have called to offer help.
“I will quit using the suspect’s name because I don’t want to give him any notoriety,” he said. “We just wanted to get him into custody and then make it about healing for our community and the families. I hope that this brings relief to the neighborhood and to the community and more importantly, closure to the families of the victims and their friends.”
If anyone is in need of mental health support following this traumatic event, call the Westcliffe SolVista office at 719-783-0566.