Walmart Shooting Suspect Officially Charged With First-Degree Murder

By Jamie Leary

BRIGHTON, Colo. (CBS4) – The 47-year-old suspect in the random shooting at a Walmart in Thornton last Wednesday made his second court appearance Monday afternoon.

scott ostrem2 Walmart Shooting Suspect Officially Charged With First Degree Murder

Scott Ostrem (credit: CBS)

Scott Ostrem faces 37 charges, a number that could rise if more victims come forward.

Ostrem appeared quiet and non-reactive as the judge explained the charges, answering a simple “Yes” when the judge asked if he understood.

thornton walmart shooting mha 01 concatenated 224720 frame 24037 Walmart Shooting Suspect Officially Charged With First Degree Murder

(credit: CBS)

So far, he faces 30 counts of attempted first-degree murder for those who survived the attack.

Ostrem was seen in surveillance video inside the store when three people were shot and killed. He was arrested on Thursday morning near his Denver home.

walmart shooting 1 Walmart Shooting Suspect Officially Charged With First Degree Murder

Scott Ostrem (credit: Thornton Police)

Ostrem appeared in Adams County Court in Brighton on Monday in handcuffs and wearing a prison jumpsuit with yellow and white stripes.

For the three people killed in the attack, Carlos Moreno, Victor Vasquez and Pamela Marques; Ostrem faces six counts of first-degree murder. Two different murder charges for each victim, which say that Ostrem:

1) Acted after deliberation
2) Acted with universal malice and with extreme indifference to the value of human life

Both carry the possibility of life without parole.

victor vasquez pamela marques and carlos moreno Walmart Shooting Suspect Officially Charged With First Degree Murder

Victor Vasquez, Pamela Marques and Carlos Moreno (credit: CBS)

The 37th charge, crime of violence, acts as a sentence enhancer for the 30 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

Relatives of Moreno appeared in court. They told CBS4 at the courthouse on Wednesday that they were still in shock and were hoping a motive might be revealed.

“I can’t believe he’s gone.”

Moreno’s brother told CBS4 he hopes the District Attorney seeks the death penalty. He also wondered if Ostrem would be charged with a hate crime.

The District Attorney said Monday it was too early to answer either of those questions but both are possibilities down the road.

It’s not known so far if investigators have determined a motive behind Ostrem’s alleged actions. Neighbors told CBS4 he has shown distain toward Hispanics in past. If the killing were racially motivated, Ostrem could be charged with a federal hate crime.

There was a lot the District Attorney could not comment on but he did make a plea, asking more victims to come forward.

scott ostrem 2 Walmart Shooting Suspect Officially Charged With First Degree Murder

Scott Ostrem (credit: Thornton Police)

“I know several people who left the Walmart, rightfully so, when the shooting occurred. If you are out there and if you have not been contacted by law enforcement, please contact the Thornton Police Department or the 17 Judicial District Attorney’s Office,” said Adams County District Attorney Dave Young.

scott ostrem1 Walmart Shooting Suspect Officially Charged With First Degree Murder

Scott Ostrem (credit: CBS)

Ostrem remains in custody without bond which will be the case, at least until his arraignment and bond hearing on Feb. 5, 2018.

RELATED: Walmart Reopens After Deadly Shooting

Jamie Leary joined the CBS4 team in 2015 and currently works as a reporter for CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. She couldn’t imagine a better place to live and work and will stop at nothing to find the next great story. Jamie loves learning about and hearing from her fellow community members, so connect with her on Facebook or Twitter @JamieALeary.

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