MONTROSE – A longtime dispute is apparently behind the confrontation last Wednesday on Escalante Canyon Road, when a Delta man shot the wife of another Delta man who had just blasted him with pepper spray.
Patricia Johnson, 66, was seriously injured when John Wool, 52, allegedly blasted her with a .410 shotgun. She received “numerous wounds to her abdomen and thighs,” according a Montrose County Sheriff’s report, but none of her wounds were life threatening. She received treatment at St. Mary’s Hospital in Grand Junction.
The reason for the dispute between the men is unknown, but goes back to at least October of 2009, when Johnson was issued a permanent civil restraining order against Wool by a Delta County court, ordering him to have “no contact of any kind” with Johnson and stay at least 50 feet away from him.
Wool claimed in a report filed by the Montrose County Sheriff that he couldn’t see where he was shooting because Paul Johnson, 66, Patricia Johnson’s husband, had just sprayed him in the face with pepper spray for bears.
Neither man disputes the facts of the recent altercation – that Johnson sprayed Wool and Wool fired his gun – but specifics in their accounts differ.
Johnson told the investigating deputy that he was driving to his home on 36.4 Road in Delta when he was run off the road by Wool, who lives on Escalante Canyon Road, going in the opposite direction. Johnson said he stopped to check his vehicle, and then saw Wool backing up. He said Wool then got out of his truck and came toward him with a shotgun in his hand, so he let him have it with the spray.
Wool, however, said he saw Johnson stop, thought he might need help, and backed up to see. He claims that Johnson hit him with the pepper spray before he ever left his truck, which the investigation seems to bear out.
In his report, Montrose Deputy Mathew Taramarcaz wrote that the pattern of spray on the outside of the truck and the fact that pepper spray was inside the truck seem to indicate Wool was inside his truck when sprayed.
Wool was charged with second-degree assault. No charges have been filed against Johnson. The incident is still under investigation.