On Friday afternoon, Adams County Sheriff Michael McIntosh addressed the public for the second time since deputy Heath Gumm's death late Wednesday night.
He said that his department is hurting and working extremely hard not only on Gumm's case but also on everything else they are regularly required to do. He quoted the 1,000 inmates in jail and litany of cases they still have to work.
McIntosh said his detectives will be working 12- to 14-hour days over the weekend trying to put together what happened and build the strongest possible case against the man they accuse of shooting and killing Gumm, 22-year-old Dreion Martise Dearing.
Dearing had his first advisement in Adams County District Court on Friday. He will be formally charged in court Wednesday at 10 a.m., the district attorney's office said. He is being held on two counts of first-degree murder of a peace officer, one count of first-degree murder after deliberation and second-degree burglary.
9NEWS asked Dave Young, District Attorney for the 17th Judicial District, if his office has any conflicts of interest prosecuting this case, because some people in the courthouse and the DA’s office personally knew Deputy Heath Gumm.
“If I personally felt I was not capable ethically either way of prosecuting any case, I would certainly seek a special prosecutor in this case. I do not feel the need to do that in this case,” Young said.
McIntosh requested that the media give Gumm's family privacy as they grieve the loss of a husband and father. He read a letter at the beginning of his press conference from the family thanking the community for the outpouring of support they've received.
Details are still emerging in the case against Dearing, he said, and he stressed that the investigation changed rapidly the night of the shooting.
Originally, two other people were believed to be potentially armed and dangerous and wanted in connection to Gumm's death. He said authorities were able to talk to them and they've been cleared as suspects.
"We have contacted them in connection with the initial call that brought the deputies to that location," he explained. "They have been interviewed. They are not in custody - but that aspect is still under investigation."
He said the pair was not detained, as for the sheriff's office to detain anyone they'd need probable cause.
As far as the initial incident that called the deputies to the area of 88th and Dawson the night of Gumm's death, McIntosh said his department is trying to determine whether it will be investigated as a burglary or an assault. He said there was some sort of fight between people who lived at a house and others who arrived there, but that it's not clear exactly what happened.
Authorities do believe Dearing was a part of that initial dispute prior to allegedly shooting Gumm. McIntosh also said Dearing was not one of the residents of the home.
McIntosh added the department will not be releasing any further information over the weekend, barring any breaking news in the case.
The department is not looking for any other suspects in Gumm's death, he said.
The sheriff asked for some time and patience as investigators piece together what happened.
ORIGINAL STORY | Adams County Sheriff Deputy Heath Gumm killed in the line of duty
"We are hurting. We're running hard. We're trying to make sure we're covering all the appropriate information we need to cover," he said. "There's nothing other than taking care of our families that is more important to us than making sure that this investigation that we do is done appropriately."
He said teams continue to gather new information about what happened.
The Adams County Sheriff's Office didn't just lose Gumm this week, McIntosh said.
"We have lost three other retired employees - all of which are having funerals," he said.
There is a funeral Friday night, on Tuesday and then again on Wednesday - all of that before Gumm's funeral.
McIntosh said that planning Gumm's funeral will take time. No information will likely be available until early next week and even then details will be scarce.
"It takes a huge venue and a lot of logistics to put together this type of service," he said.
This is the second time in a month a metro law enforcement agency has lost a peace officer. Less than a month ago, Deputy Zack Parrish of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office was killed and four other deputies were injured after a man opened fire on them during a welfare check.
"The Adams County Sheriff's Office is grieving," he said.
The Gumm family released a letter that has been reproduced below. You can also find out more about donating on the Adams County Sheriff's Office website linked here.
Our family would like to express our sincere gratitude for the incredible support and empathy expressed during this difficult time. We have truly been amazed by the generous nature of the community. Our hearts are warmed by the display of compassion from complete strangers who stood and continue to stand alongside our family. As we passed behind the tinted windows of a brightly lit motorcade, your heartfelt wishes for our husband, son and brother has given his life a beautiful purpose.
We have no words that appropriately say thank you for the donations sent and offers to help to our extended law enforcement family as they continue to watch over our family and community.
We would also like to express our gratitude for all law enforcement officers who served by Heath’s side, and all those who now work to honor his life and service. This family support means more to us than we will ever be able to effectively describe. Please stay safe as you continue to watch over those you made a commitment to serve. You are all deeply appreciated. Finally, we respectfully ask for your continued assistance respecting our privacy as we move through this time of healing and much-needed rest.