WELD COUNTY, CO – A 36-year-old illegal immigrant was arrested earlier in September after authorities say he killed a 24-year-old Weld County Sheriff’s deputy in a fatal hit-and-run accident while allegedly under the influence of alcohol.
On September 18th, at approximately 5:30 p.m., Deputy Alexis Hein-Nutz was reportedly on her motorcycle en route to her job at the county jail when the suspect, identified as Norberto Garcia-Gonzales, allegedly struck her with his vehicle.
The collision reportedly occurred at the intersection of Weld County Road 37 and AA Street, with officials saying Deputy Hein-Nutz was traveling southbound on Weld County Road 37 as Garcia-Gonzales proceeded past the stop sign at AA Street – going directly into the path of Deputy Hein-Nutz’s motorcycle.
Officials say Deputy Hein-Nutz was declared deceased at the scene of the accident, whereas Garcia-Gonzales reportedly fled the scene on foot, leaving behind his vehicle where authorities discovered empty beer bottles inside.
Some of the additional evidence collected at the scene of the accident included “a falsified Green Card and a fake Social Security card” inside of the suspect’s vehicle, according to Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams. This led investigators to determine that Garcia-Gonzales is illegally present within the country.
An extensive search was deployed in the area of the crash, consisting of Weld County Sheriff’s deputies, K9 handlers, Colorado State Patrol officers, Eaton Fire Department personnel, as well as officers from the Greeley and Denver Police departments.
Despite the extensive search of the area surrounding the fatal hit-and-run, the suspect wasn’t apprehended until approximately 10:15 p.m. on September 19th, when deputies from Weld County Sheriff’s strike team apprehended Garcia-Gonzales in Fort Collins following numerous tips pouring in from the public.
Garcia-Gonzales has since been charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving death as well as reckless driving resulting in the death of a person. The suspect made his initial court appearance on September 20th, where his bail was set at $50,000. Garcia-Gonzales’ next court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. on September 22nd.
In a statement regarding Deputy Hein-Nutz’s passing, Sheriff Reams stated, “Alexis was a hard worker, a caring deputy, and a positive force for our agency. I share in my deputies’ grief and in their anger over her senseless and tragic passing. But we are a family, and we will get through this painful event together.”
Deputy Hein-Nutz had joined the Weld County Sheriff’s Office in November of 2018, with Sheriff Reams adding the young deputy would’ve celebrated her 25th birthday a week after the fatal crash.
In a Facebook post from 2018 following her graduation from the jail academy, Deputy Hein-Nutz shared her excitement for her newly-attained career in law enforcement, writing, “After many years of dreaming of being in law enforcement, I can finally say I am officially following my dreams. This is only the first stepping-stone to a brighter future. Here is to a better life and doing what I was meant to do.”