Carson soldier victim in fatal shooting, juvenile suspect

March 5, 2013
photo - A garden decoration in front of the home where a fatal shooting occurred Saturday night in Widefield. Photo by Daniel J. Chacon
A garden decoration in front of the home where a fatal shooting occurred Saturday night in Widefield. Photo by Daniel J. Chacon 

WIDEFIELD — An Iraq War veteran and Fort Carson soldier was shot to death in his home Saturday, and a juvenile family member is suspected of pulling the trigger, authorities said Tuesday.

However, the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office is refusing to provide additional details about the shooting death of Sgt. James F. Fleming, 36, saying it didn’t want to jeopardize the investigation.

“It’s an active case for us,” sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Jeff Kramer said.

“We continue to investigate this case and so the level of detail that’s been provided is what we’re going to share at this point,” he said.

No arrest has been made, and the underage suspect is not in custody, Kramer said.

“I’m not going to elaborate on where he is,” Kramer said. “There is no risk to the public at this point. That’s what I’m willing to share with you at this point.”

The shooting has been ruled a homicide by the coroner’s office.

Just after 11 p.m. Saturday, deputies responded to a home in the 6500 block of President Avenue, near Mesa Ridge Parkway and Fountain Mesa Road, after receiving two 911 calls reporting a shooting.

When deputies arrived, they found Fleming dead from a gunshot wound.

No one answered the door Tuesday evening at the home where the shooting took place.

“My guess is the family’s at the funeral home. He has a service (at 10 a.m. Wednesday) on post,” said a woman who dropped off food at the front door.

The woman, who declined to give her name, said Fleming was a married father of three.

Fleming joined the Army in May 2002 and arrived at Fort Carson in February 2010, said Master Sgt. Craig Zentkovich, a Fort Carson spokesman. Fleming was a tracked vehicle mechanic who served on the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, Zentkovich said.

Fleming had four deployments, three to Iraq and one to Kuwait, Zentkovich said. His last deployment was to Iraq with Fort Carson from March 2010 to March 2011, he said. On his military records, Fleming listed his hometown as Cordova, Tenn.

Next-door neighbor Walter Bonnelycke said Fleming and his family moved in around August. He said they were neighborly but didn’t talk much.

“I met them when they moved in,” he said. “The only thing we talked about was the kids. The kids was alright, and the mother and father was alright, too.”

The children are two boys and a girl, at least two of whom appear to be in their teens, he said.

Bonnelycke, who has lived in the neighborhood for 26 years, said the family was quiet and that there were no signs of trouble in the home.

“It puzzled me that something like that happened here,” he said.

Fleming’s death is the fifth homicide in unincorporated El Paso County in 2013; the county had three homicides in all of 2012.

Contact Daniel Chacón: 476-1623

Twitter @danieljchacon

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