Christopher Tiffany, enraged when he learned a former girlfriend had moved on quickly, went to her Eckert home with violence in mind, an arrest affidavit alleges.
Tiffany, 40, is accused of firing a .45 caliber handgun through the window of the woman’s Oak Creek Road home early Tuesday. The shot hit the woman’s 20-year-old boyfriend in the neck, critically wounding him. Court documents say the bullet was lodged in the man’s body.
The man remained hospitalized in a Denver-area hospital Thursday; Delta County Sheriff Mark Taylor said he was in critical but stable condition.
The woman — who is the listed victim in a previous domestic violence incident involving Tiffany — heard a single gunshot and heard her boyfriend fall from their bed, saying he had been shot, Delta County Sheriff’s Detective Matt Brewer wrote in Tiffany’s arrest affidavit.
The woman fell to the floor, too, and pushed the wounded man under the bed while trying to call 911. She looked out her window and spotted a truck she recognized as Tiffany’s, the affidavit says.
Tiffany was not on scene when Delta County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrived.
They found signs that a wooden pallet outside the home had been used as a “ladder” to provide a view through the window; a damaged window fan the bullet apparently traveled through and bloody bedding.
The woman told investigators she had on an earlier occasion placed wood across her window because she thought Tiffany had been trying to spy on her. She feared him because of the previous alleged domestic violence and because he had “threatened to kill her the night of the domestic incident.”
The DCSO quickly developed leads as to Tiffany’s whereabouts. Montrose County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Mike Skelton contacted Brewer and relayed Tiffany — his stepbrother — had been in touch with him.
Per the affidavit, Skelton spoke to Tiffany at about 10 p.m. Monday and told him he was going to the “woods” near Collbran and would be in touch later.
Within hours, the shooting occurred and Tiffany reportedly contacted Skelton’s wife through social media. He “was suicidal because he had assaulted someone and had a warrant for his arrest,” Brewer wrote in the document.
Skelton called Tiffany, who reportedly divulged he was “enraged” to find another man at the woman’s home and that his own property had been thrown outside.
Skelton also relayed having been told Tiffany propped a wooden pallet against the side of the house to look into the bedroom window.
“Skelton said Chris said he had a .45 handgun and put it through the window, pulled the trigger and shot (redacted) in the head,” the affidavit states.
Tiffany allegedly also said he had planned to shoot the woman, too, but the gun malfunctioned so he “beat feet” out of the area.
He allegedly reiterated he wanted to kill the woman, but did not specify when, how or where, the affidavit also says.
“Chris told Deputy Skelton he was not going back to prison and would shoot it out with the cops if he needed to,” Brewer wrote.
Tiffany seemed intoxicated to his stepbrother, but Skelton did not doubt the threat. Per the document, he “fully believes Chris when he says he will kill (woman).”
As Brewer was speaking with Skelton, Tiffany called his stepbrother again. Brewer was able to listen in on Skelton’s return call, during which Tiffany reportedly said he was disappointed in himself, but was “pushed, pushed, pushed” and snapped.
Tiffany said he had seen the DCSO’s initial press release about the shooting and knew there was going to be a warrant.
Per the affidavit, later during the phone call, Tiffany explained he had ripped his tail lights and backed up to the house so the occupants wouldn’t see his truck. He also allegedly said he had watched them in the house for several minutes before the shooting; he also allegedly said the bullet hit the window fan before striking the other man.
“Deputy Skelton said he didn’t want something stupid to happen. Chris said he was going to just see how long he will make it on the run. Chris said if he was to be cornered he would just end it,” Brewer wrote.
“ … Skelton told Chris no one else needed to be hurt, including him. Chris said that will depend on what his mental state is when the time comes.”
Ultimately, Tiffany did not “just end it.” Instead, he surrendered Wednesday afternoon in West Wendover, Nevada, where a state trooper spotted his vehicle parked outside of a grocery store.
Taylor said the DCSO developed information that Tiffany might have left the state and that he had ties in both Nevada and California. The DCSO issued a be on the lookout report for Tiffany and his vehicle.
“We’re pleased that we had an alert trooper that saw the BOLO (report), recognized the vehicle and was able to locate and arrest him without any further incident,” Taylor said Thursday.
West Wendover police assisted in the arrest.
Tiffany was at last report jailed in Elko County, Nevada, where he awaits extradition to Colorado.
Tiffany is suspected of attempted first-degree murder and of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon. The warrant also alleges reckless endangerment “due to the fact that (he) placed every occupant in the home in risk of serious bodily injury.”
Tiffany, who has a conviction for felony trespassing, is further accused of possession of a weapon by a previous offender; prohibited use of a weapon; violation of a protection order that barred him from the woman’s property; domestic violence and violating bail conditions in an earlier case in which he was charged with assault and domestic violence.
Formal charges are pending. A court date has not been sent because Tiffany has yet to be extradited to Delta County.
Katharhynn Heidelberg is the Montrose Daily Press assistant editor and senior writer. For the latest in Delta County News download the DCI App at the App Store or Google Play