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Teens arrested for attempted murder

A 34-year-old Pueblo West woman was the target of a shooting early Sunday morning that resulted in the arrest of two teenage boys.

Devin Riensch, 16, arrested Tuesday, and 17-year-old Evan Hesselberg, arrested Monday, are charged with attempted first degree murder, felony burglary, felony assault, and criminal mischief.

Someone had knocked on the door of the family home at around 2 a.m., and when Cheryl Gonzales went to answer, she was shot several times through the door, said Lisa Shorter, public information officer with the Pueblo County Sheriff’s Office.

The investigation revealed the two teens planned and committed a home invasion/burglary of the property, Shorter said.

When Gonzales was able to shut the door preventing them access to the home, the two opened fire shooting Gonzales through the closed door, Shorter said.

Gonzalez sustained multiple gunshot wounds, and she was transported to a local hospital.

No one else in the home was injured.

“This was an intended target,” Shorter said. “It was not random. They targeted her.”

The 17-year-old Hesselberg arrested for crimes related to the shooting was booked into Pueblo Youth Center.

Detectives recovered seven weapons, two of which were found at the home of suspect Devin Riensch along with ammunition that is consistent with that fired into the home.

The five other guns were recovered at a third home deputies searched after acquiring a search warrant.

All seven guns were reported stolen during a burglary in Westcliffe in late October.

The home burglarized belonged to the grandfather of suspect Evan Hesselberg.

He is charged with first degree attempted murder and multiple other felonies in the case.

Within two days after the shooting, detectives made six other arrests involving persons associated to the incident.

These arrests were of adults who either had warrants, were found in possession of controlled substances when contacted, or had committed other crimes discovered as a result of this investigation.

“The more we’re investigating, the more things are coming to the surface,” Shorter said.

A motive in the case is attempted drug theft, and two of the arrests are for possession of illegal substances with the other two arrests for outstanding warrants.

“We know that two shooters stood at point blank range and fired through the door with semi-automatic rifles,” said Pueblo County Sheriff Kirk M. Taylor. “We’ve done three search warrants on three properties and recovered two semi-auto rifles we believe that were used.”

He said that detectives have worked the case nonstop.

“This investigation goes up to a burglary in Westcliffe. We recovered most of the stuff stolen out of that burglary and as you can see, the investigation has broadened,” Taylor said.

More arrests are expected.

Detective interviewed more than 30 people possibly connected to the case and served search warrants on three homes in Pueblo County.

The shooting where a woman was shot through a door has evolved into a complex case, Taylor said.

“Violent crime is rare in Pueblo County already, but to know this incident was premeditated and these suspects planned to shoot our victim without regard for what the young children in the home would witness or their future is certainly a motivating factor for our team,” Taylor said.

Gonzales’s condition has not been released yet.

— Nick Bonham contributed to this report

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