A 50-year-old employee of a Big O Tires store in Monument was shot fatally Aug. 9 outside the store where he worked, and an 18-year-old resident of nearby Como, Colo., has been charged with his murder.
The El Paso County Sheriff's office said it received multiple calls at 4:25 p.m. that day about a shooting that had occurred at the tire shop. Police from Monument and Palmer Lake arrived within minutes and found an unconscious Bradley Blehm, who had been shot multiple times and was not breathing. Paramedics were unable to resuscitate him.
A press release issued by the sheriff's office said the suspect, Logan McClelland, and his father had a confrontation with the victim in the parking lot of the tire store after coming to the shop to get a flat tire repaired. Prior to the altercation, the McClellands had filed a complaint against Mr. Blehm, who lived in Monument.
A spokeswoman for the El Paso County Sheriff said there were several witnesses to the shooting, which occurred in a high-visibility area.
Mr. McClelland is being held without bond in the El Paso County Criminal Justice Center on charges of first degree murder.
The spokeswoman said she was unaware of whether or not the suspect had a criminal history.
Big O franchisee Tony Porras, who owns the tire store, declined to comment on the shooting, but referred Tire Business to Big O Tires Inc.'s parent company, TBC Corp., which released a statement on the incident.
We have been notified that the Big O Tires franchise owner is fully cooperating with the police and their investigation , TBC said in a press release, adding: Our foremost concern is the safety and well-being of all Big O Tires franchisees, their associates and customers.
This is a terrible tragedy and our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victim.
Del Blehm, the victim's father, told Tire Business his son had been working as a mechanic at the Big O store for about a year after having spent time with General Motors Co. dealership locations in the area.
He was a good guy, he loved his family, Del Blehm said. He added that one thing he will remember most about his son was his love for cars.
That's the reason he wanted to be a mechanic in the first place, he said. Maybe that sounds like a feeble thing to remember him for, but it's a common interest we shared.
Bradley Blehm graduated from Denver Automotive and Diesel College, which is now Lincoln College of Technology.
According to his father, Brad has a son in his early 20s, Nate Blehm, who was married about three weeks ago.
The Colorado Springs Gazette said that Mr. McClelland reportedly confessed to shooting Mr. Blehm, but claimed that his action was in self defense. Citing a Sheriff's Office affidavit, the paper noted, however, that the suspect's account of what happened changed each time he told the story.