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2 Killed, 3 Injured in Canyon Shooting Near Boulder; Suspect Captured

August 25, 1990 GMT

BOULDER, Colo. (AP) _ An escaped convict suspected in four slayings, including an attack on a group of target shooters that killed two, was wounded and captured early today after an extensive manhunt, authorities said.

Michael G. Bell was shot in the neck as he ran from a bar and attempted to escape in a car, said Boulder sheriff’s Lt. Joe Gang. Officers who had been tipped off were waiting in the car.

He was taken to Boulder Community Hospital, where he was in serious condition, a nursing supervisor said.

Bell, 36, escaped from the Four Mile Correctional Center in Canon City on Aug. 5. He is suspected of being the man who rounded up five men as they practiced target shooting in the mountains Friday, and then opened fire. Two men were killed and a third seriously injured.

Bell also is being sought for questioning in the fatal shootings of a 36- year-old transient on Tuesday in Boulder Canyon and a 20-year-old convenience store clerk in Broomfield on Aug. 15, Gang said.

After Friday’s attack, roadblocks were set up in Boulder and on roads throughout the pine-covered mountains and steep canyons northwest of the city. It was described as Boulder County’s largest manhunt in 15 years.

Authorities said Bell contacted someone he knew and asked the person to provide a car so he could escape. Instead, Gang said, the person tipped off authorities.

When Bell arrived at the Boulder City Limits, a bar, deputies were waiting in the car he planned to take.

Identities of the two men killed Friday were withheld pending notification of relatives.

The wounded were Timothy Bendel, described as in his 20s, who was shot in the head and was listed in serious condition at Boulder Community Hospital, and Michael Victor, 22, was treated and released after a bullet grazed his head, hospital official said.

Matthew Hickey, 19, who fell while trying to escape the shootings, was treated for a knee injury and released, said Assistant Boulder County Sheriff Dave Voorhis.

The five men were in an area of the mountains used for target shooting and motorcycle riding when the shooter drove up in a blue car and represented himself as an off-duty park ranger, Voorhis said.

He took the serial numbers of the victims’ weapons and began to march them back down to a road, Voorhis said. ″As the five were going down to the road he began shooting them,″ he said.

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The car, which was stolen near Canon City on Aug. 6, was found abandoned in Boulder later Friday.

Spokeswoman Liz McDonough of the state Department of Corrections said Bell, 36, was admitted to the state prison system in 1988 and was serving a 12-year sentence for check fraud and theft.

She said Bell had an Illinois prison record, including for attempted murder in 1972.