DENVER (CBS4) – Two suspected robbers involved in a shootout with Denver police were wanted for murder in Lakewood.
One of the robbers, identified as Mark Sepulveda, 24, was killed by police. The other suspect,
, 21, was arrested. Investigators now say the two were wanted for murder.
The robbery happened Tuesday afternoon at a cell phone business at 14th Avenue and Krameria Street. Jerry Cho owns the cell phone store and said he was just pulling up in his car as the armed suspects were running out.
In a matter of minutes Cho said he was shot at by one suspect as Sepulveda was killed by police.
Joshua Hart was working inside the cell phone store when two masked men with guns stormed inside.
“(They demanded) I empty my pockets. I didn’t have much money in my pockets and they were like, ‘Where’s the money?’ I was like, ‘The cash register,” Hart said. “The one in front had the cover with a bandana and a gun drawn.”
They fired at least one shot during their search for cash.
“The gun went off, I don’t know if they were aiming, if they meant to shoot me,” Hart said.
As they left the store with a small amount of money, the store’s owner, Cho pulled up in his car. Realizing what was happening, he tried to chase after the men, but one of them came towards him. Cho recognized the man as one of his customers.
“He told me to stop and I didn’t. I was going by him. As I was going by he took a shot at my car,” Cho said.
The shot left a bullet hole in Cho’s car, but Cho wasn’t hurt. Within a few minutes police were on scene and Sepulveda was shot and killed just as he was trying to carjack a Jeep parked at a 7-Eleven, according to police and witnesses.
“I saw him running toward the 7-Eleven with a rifle,” a witness said.
“There was a lot of bang-bang-bang and the guy was laying down,” another witness said.
Denver police spent the day collecting evidence and talking to witnesses. They soon learned that the two suspects were already wanted for murder in Lakewood.
“I guess we’re lucky to be alive because they have no regard for human lives,” Cho said.
Cho said he credits Denver police with arriving quickly and saving lives.
“Today they were heroes,” he said.
Cho said his son, who was also working in the store during the robbery, was pistol-whipped but he is okay. Cho said the store will probably be closed for the next few days so they can recover.
Police want to conduct interviews with all the witnesses to see if anyone else was involved.