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Man shot to death at city apartment
Tenants gathered Friday in the parking lot of the apartment complex on East Adams Avenue to talk about the fatal shooting that happened there Thursday night. Riverton police applied police tape to the doorway of the apartment where the shooting occurred. Photo by Wayne Nicholls

Man shot to death at city apartment

Sep 14, 2012 - By Katie Roenigk, Staff Writer

The Riverton Police Department is investigating the death of Lucas Myhre, 27, of Riverton, who was pronounced dead Thursday evening at the scene of a shooting in the 800 block of East Adams Avenue.

Officials said Dustin Nickelson, 23, of Riverton, is in custody on charges of first-degree murder in connection with the incident, which police are calling a homicide due to "initial indications" according to a press release.

The RPD also recovered a handgun suspected of being used in the shooting. The weapon reportedly was located during the time of arrest, which took place shortly after the incident.

Shots fired

Officers responded at about 9:30 p.m. Thursday to 811 E. Adams Ave., Apartment 2, after receiving reports that shots had been fired there. Officers said they found Myhre "down and unresponsive" at the scene, where he was later pronounced dead.

Fremont County Coroner Ed McAuslan said an autopsy will be performed at 1 p.m. Saturday in Loveland, Colo., and he would not discuss details about the condition of the body.

Neighbors

According to residents at the scene, Myhre did not live at the Adams Avenue complex, but Nickelson was the tenant at Apartment 2. Property manager Paula Coldiron said she did not know Myhre, but Nickelson and his girlfriend were quiet neighbors who kept to themselves.

"It's pretty upsetting," Coldiron said of the incident. "It's something that just happened real fast."

Coldiron lives across from Apartment 2, and she was home with her 14-year-old daughter when the shooting took place. After hearing several shots, Coldiron said she ran outside and saw Myhre lying on his stomach just below the steps to apartment 2.

"I tried to help him," she said, but there was nothing she could do.

Coldiron said Nickelson stood in his doorway while she bent over Myhre, who was unresponsive. Nickelson's girlfriend reportedly was home at the time as well.

"(Nickelson) just looked at me and said, 'Paula, Paula,' and I said, 'Just a minute,'" Coldiron said. "He just stood there."

Police arrived soon afterward, and Coldiron said Nickelson cooperated with law enforcement. By that time, she said, onlookers had arrived at the scene.

"It was chaotic," she said, describing the crowd that had gathered at the apartment complex after the shots were fired.

Coldiron and several others were taken in for questioning by police, and while she was waiting for her turn with officials Coldiron said she saw one officer bring a gun out of apartment 2.

"I think it was a .45," Coldiron said, adding that she believed Nickelson had purchased the firearm several months ago.

After speaking with police, Coldiron said she was not allowed to return to her home until this morning, when officials removed barriers from the apartment complex parking lot. At midday Friday, the front and back doors of Apartment 2 are cordoned off with tape, and Coldiron said she doesn't feel that she or any of her residents are in danger.

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