DENVER (CBS4) – A shooting late Wednesday night at a light rail station led to an arrest after the would-be robber had the tables turned on him by his victim.

The shooting happened after 10 p.m. at 1250 5th Street on the Auraria Campus.

Denver police say James Arellano, 21, from Westminster, had a gun and smacked a victim on the head while attempting to rob a man and woman on the C line after first harassing a pair of teenagers.

Investigators say Arellano was with another young man during the robbery attempt.

“One of the victims is struck by the suspects … with the gun,” Christine Downs with Denver police said.

The victims ran from the train at the Auraria West light rail station platform. Police say Arellano fired his gun three times at close range at his victims, but missed and then the victims fought back.

While the male victim scuffled with Arellano the gun fell to the ground and the female victim shot Arellano. He suffered injuries not considered to be life-threatening.

The scene Wednesday night (credit: CBS)

The scene Wednesday night (credit: CBS)

“Then a scuffle ensues between the suspect and one of the victims, at that point the weapon becomes loose and the other victim picks up the gun and fires at the suspect,” Downs said.

Some light rail riders said the woman was justified in shooting Arellano.

“If somebody’s a going to bring a gun and try to take … something from somebody else, you should defend yourself, defend the person being attacked,” light rail rider Matthew Current from Aurora said.

“I’m for the people having guns, you know the right to bear arms,” light rail rider Denise Hubbard from Lakewood said. “I believe that’s one of our rights, that doesn’t change my feelings on that either.”

Arellano faces three charges including robbery, felony menacing and possession of a weapon.

Police are looking for the second suspect. He’s described as Hispanic in his late teens and was wearing a light colored polo shirt and a red Chicago Bulls basketball hat.

The shooting at the Auraria West station is the second attack to happen at a light rail stop in recent weeks.

On Aug. 13 a person was brutally beaten and robbed by two suspects at the Knox Court station. It happened in broad daylight and surveillance cameras captured the crime.

Police in Denver searched for two suspects wanted in a robbery at W. 12th Ave. and N. Knox Court (credit: Denver Police)

Police in Denver searched for two suspects wanted in a robbery at W. 12th Ave. and N. Knox Court (credit: Denver Police)

Denver police are still searching for the men responsible for the attack. A Denver Police spokesperson told CBS4 it is too soon to tell if the Knox Court attack is related to the shooting Wednesday night.

Additional Information From The Denver Police Department

Anyone with information is asked to call Denver police at (720) 913-2000. Remain anonymous and earn up to $2,000. Call Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867). Text to CRIMES (274637) then title DMCS and enter the message or send an e-mail to


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