Colorado River Ranger Among Victims at Denver bar Shooting

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The perils of inner-city living hit the tight-knit Colorado boating community on Oct. 17 when BLM river ranger Ross Richter, who worked at the popular Pumphouse and Statebridge sections of the Upper Colorado River, was among the five victims killed at a Denver bar shooting…

“He was a super cool ranger at Pumphouse,” says local boater Dan Piano, one of many kayakers who encountered him regularly at the take-out of the Colorado’s Class V Gore Canyon run.

Richter was known for both his easy-going, helpful demeanor and full beard and white sunglasses.

“If you’ve floated this section you’ve probably seen or talked to Ross,” a post on Mountain Buzz read. “He was easy to spot with his mountain man beard and white sunglasses. He always had a smile on his face whether he was changing the T.P. at Radium or cleaning fire rings at the Cottonwood campspots. He loved that river more than anything, and was always glad to chat or answer questions. Next time you’re down that way take a second to think about him, and think about how quickly it can all be taken away from us. May you row through the Class V clouds in the sky…”

According to a story by Denver’s CBS4, Richter wasn’t a fan of city life and his friends were surprised to learn that he was killed in a bar in Denver. Firefighters found the bodies of four women and Richter at 2 a.m. at Fero’s Bar and Grill. The victims were identified as the owner of the bar, Young Fero, 63, Daria M. Pohl, 22; Kellene Fallon, 45; Richter, 29; and Tereasa Beesley, 45. Pohl, Fallon and Beesley were from Denver. Three men were later arrested for investigation of murder. Police identified them as Dexter Lewis, 22, Joseph Hill, 27, and his brother, Lynell Hill, 24.

According to CBS, Richter’s friends said he felt most at home in the mountains and near rushing rivers. “He was just easy to be around all the time. You never got sick of him,” Richter’s friend Will Tiefenbrun told CBS. “When we were on the river we were on the river together. When we weren’t on the river we were driving trucks around together. When we weren’t driving trucks together we were probably camping somewhere.”

“He doesn’t come to the city much,” he added, adding that he thinks Richter may have been on a date with victim Pohl that night. “He doesn’t like the city.”

Richter graduated from Kansas State University and always spent any spare time hiking and camping. James Richter.

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