ALAMOSA – Danny Pruitt, the driver shot by a protester June 4, was discharged from the hospital Wednesday and is back in Alamosa recovering with a 9 mm slug in his head.
“He is very pleased to have been released and very excited about getting to see his daughter. He is looking forward to trying to get his life back together,” said Tom Metier, his personal injury lawyer. Pruitt, 49, is a disabled Army veteran who moved from Texas to Colorado a few years ago.
He owns some property in the Sangre de Cristo Ranches near Fort Garland, where he has been building a cabin to live with his 5-year-old daughter. He apparently was headed for a burger in downtown Alamosa June 4 when he stopped his pickup truck, at least partially, at a red light on Main Street and State Avenue, then accelerated toward the group of protesters marching there in the aftermath of George Floyd’s killing by police in Minneapolis.
One of the protesters, Alamosa defense attorney James Marshall, 27, pulled out a Glock and shot Pruitt in the back of his head. Pruitt managed to stop his truck for a while, then continued driving 12 blocks while in shock from the gunshot wound.
Police found him unconscious near Adams State shortly after. Pruitt spent most of the last three weeks comatose in the intensive care unit of UC Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs.
Despite the bullet still lodged in his head, he regained consciousness sometime in the last week and was alert and functional enough to be released on Wednesday. He is recovering at his sister’s house in Alamosa, says Metier.
“He’s conversant, he can talk to you. At this point, he is able to articulate what his condition is and make decisions. … But he is very mentally tired. He’s exhausted,” Metier said, describing a “cognitive fatigue” common among people with brain injuries. “Mr. Pruitt is going to go through a period of recovery here. We’ll see what progress he can make.”
Pruitt is a single dad with primary custody of his daughter, Melody. She was with her mother in Texas on the day of the shooting and is scheduled to reunite with him today. As Metier tells it, Pruitt has spoken with Alamosa police, who are still investigating his shooting. He met with District Attorney Robert Willett Thursday morning.
Willett is prosecuting Marshall on a slew of charges, including attempted murder. Marshall’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for August 28. He has told police Pruitt hit his wife, Mariah Loraine, with his truck at the intersection where the couple was among about a dozen people protesting
“James said he was in fear for his wife’s safety… and he fired a shot into the truck,” the police report reads.
The young defense attorney, then a year out of law school, moved to Alamosa in June 2019 with his wife, who took a job as a child welfare caseworker for the county’s Human Services Department. His law office, Marshall Law, was above Milagro’s Café at the intersection where he shot Pruitt.
Lorraine bailed out her husband June 5, the day she also quit her job at the county. The couple immediately left town, says Marshall’s lawyer, Randy Canney. “They don’t feel safe there.”