By Rick Sallinger

THORNTON, Colo. (CBS4) – The 47-year-old man accused of shooting three people to death earlier this week at a Thornton Walmart appeared in Adams County District Court Friday.

Scott Ostrem was advised that he is facing murder charges.

Scott Ostrem (credit: CBS)

Family members of victims arrived in court carrying a sign calling for Justice for Carlos Moreno.

He was shot to death along with Pamela Marques and Victor Vasquez.

In court Friday, they were able to see the man accused of the murder face to face.

Judge Ted Tow told Ostrem, “You are being held for investigation of murder.”

The judge added Ostrem faces the possibility of life in prison or death if convicted.

District Attorney Dave Young asked the judge for more time to file formal charges, but was denied.

“There’s going to be several counts of attempted murder and we’re talking about many many many people,” Young said.

He said the gunman fired into a crowd in the Walmart and they will have to track those people down for the attempted murder charges.

Scott Ostrem (credit: Thornton Police)

The store remained closed Friday, with mainly employees and workmen allowed in.

Ostrum was captured early yesterday morning after driving by where his apartment in Thornton.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger spoke again with neighbors who recall the suspect leaving half an hour before the shootings.

Teresa Muniz said, “That’s when he started coming down the stairs with a black jacket and red shirt that’s when we were getting in the car.”

Police later released a security picture of the then-unnamed suspect.

Gerald Burnett recalled, “Within an hour he came back wearing a black coat and maroon shirt  black coat still on.”

A day earlier, these neighbors and others said that Ostrem clearly disliked Hispanics. The victims in the murders had Hispanic names. DA Young would not discuss whether it may be considered a hate crime.

He also would not say if he will seek the death penalty.

Now Ostrem remains behind bars without bond. Formal charges are due Monday.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.


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