WELD COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – Two men arrested after a shootout in a Walmart parking lot Friday morning were released from custody. The suspects were never booked in the Weld County Jail due to a new policy that prioritizes high-level felony arrests.
The Weld County Jail enacted the policy on Sept. 1 in response to limited jail capacity amid the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing jail expansion project. Under the new policy, the majority of people booked at the jail face a class 1, 2 or 3 felony or charges with a domestic violence enhancement.
The Walmart shootout suspects, Jewan Satcher and Sheldon Nails, were each charged with engaging in a riot, fighting by agreement-dueling, four counts of reckless endangerment, illegal discharge of a firearm and prohibited use of a weapon.
Investigators said Satcher, 24, and Nails, 23, were contractors from out-of-state doing work at the Walmart when the shooting happened. No one was injured, but police found more than 20 shell casings at the scene.
One bullet hit the windshield of someone who was sitting in his car. Other cars were also hit, but no one was hurt.
The Greeley Police Department made a special request for the suspects to be booked in the jail, citing the violent nature of the incident and that both suspects were from out-of-state.
“The recommended charges for the two noted suspects did not allow for them to be taken into custody,” stated Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams in a Facebook post explaining why the request from Greeley police was denied.
The Weld County Jail plans to lift the arrest standards on Oct. 28, once the jail expansion is complete. Under normal circumstances, the jail can hold up to 1,170 inmates. Due to the pandemic and construction limitations, the jail currently has about 450 inmates with a maximum capacity of 500.
“I will not make comments about the investigation conducted by the Greeley Police Department for the shooting incident and will assume that the most appropriate charges were recommended against the suspects,” stated Sheriff Reams on Facebook. “I will also assume, as the press release states, that there is no further threat to the public. My agency is committed to doing all we can to continue to make this community safe and will continue to be the best partners possible to all of our law enforcement allies. This post is not intended to mitigate the serious situation of this event or the unfortunate impacts that the implementation of jail arrest standards have on our community.”