CENTENNIAL, Colo. (CBS4) – An 18-year-old student was shot outside his home in Centennial and investigators believe he was targeted for robbery by a cheerleader and three other teens because he sold vaping products. The probable cause statement from the Arapahoe County Sheriff’s Office says Lloyd Chavez was known to sell vaping products — and a cheerleader set up the meeting that ended with the deadly shooting. Prosecutors say the teens face charges in district court, not juvenile court.
Chavez was shot outside his home on East Powers Lane in Centennial on Wednesday, May 8, at about 9:30 p.m.
When the deputy arrived he said the victim was lying on his back inside the front door and several people were screaming, according to the affidavit. The victim’s younger sister and his grandmother were with the victim. The deputy described his sister as “hysterical.”
At the hospital, Chavez was able to talk a little. When asked who shot him, he said “Kenny.” He identified Kenny as a junior at Cherokee Trail High School before he was rushed into surgery. Chavez passed away during surgery.
Inside Chavez’s home, an investigator found four flavored Juice Head Salts and 2 SMOK Nord kits used for vaping.
At the hospital, a friend of the victim said a girl had planned to buy vaping products that night. She was identified as a 17-year-old Juliana “Julie” Serrano, a cheerleader at Cherokee Trail.
Investigators went to Serrano’s house. The girl’s mother also told investigators Kenneth Gallegos, 17, had been staying at their home on South Versailles Street because he had been kicked out of his house. She said her daughter left with Gallegos and some other boys earlier that night.
Sources interviewed by deputies identified the male in picture below as being Kenneth Gallegos.
When deputies spoke to Gallegos’ parents, his mother told investigators her son said he believed he was addicted to JUUL pods — a popular brand of e-cigarettes. She confirmed her son had recently transferred from Cherokee Trail to Grandview High School.
She also told investigators her son said he’d heard about the shooting on the news — but investigators say the shooting had not been reported on any news sites at the time.
The cheerleader agreed to talk to investigators with her mother present. Serrano initially said Gallegos was not involved in any incidents with Chavez. She also said she had arranged to buy vaping products from Chavez but ended up not going. Investigators checked her phone and found the last message she’d sent on Snapchat was a photo of what she wanted to buy and a reply from Chavez with his address.
Investigators say Serrano later admitted going to Chavez’s house to buy vaping products — but said Gallegos did not shoot Chavez. She said there were two other males in the car with them and when they got to Chavez’s house there was a struggle. Serrano said Chavez tackled one of the other males. She said Gallegos got out of the car but didn’t get physically involved. Then she heard a gun go off. She said they took back the money they had given Chavez and left.
Serrano said it was one of the other males who shot Chavez.
The two males were later identified as Dominic Stager, aged 17 or 18, and Demarea Mitchell, 17. Serrano said Mitchell was the one who shot Chavez.
Investigators say Serrano later admitted it was her idea to get the vaping products and the boys had planned to steal the products from the beginning. She said she didn’t know they had a gun and they had only talked about scaring Chavez.
She said Gallegos “kind of but not really” asked her to set up the meeting with Chavez.
Serrano told investigators the money they used that night was in her backpack. Investigators say it amounted to $25.
On May 10, Serrano spoke to investigators again. She confirmed they went to Chavez’s house with the intention of robbing him and that she handed him the money and then took it back. She denied that Gallegos shot Chavez but acknowledged she didn’t actually see the gun in anyone’s hands.
At that point, investigators requested an arrest warrant for Gallegos for the charges of first degree murder, violent crime causing serious bodily injury/death, violent crime using a weapon, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. Gallegos was arrested and no bond amount was set during his court hearing.
Serrano is facing the same five charges. No bond amount was set.
Stager is charged with two counts of first degree murder, aggravated robbery and conspiracy to commit aggravated robbery. No bond amount was set.
Mitchell, is charged with the same six counts as Stager. No bond amount was set.
A Facebook page called “The Life of Lloyd IV” has been set up to share photos and memories of Chavez. A celebration of life has been scheduled for Chavez at Cook Park, at 7100 Cherry Creek South Drive in Denver on Saturday, May 18, at 4 p.m.