By Ben Warwick

AURORA, Colo. (CBS4) – Court documents obtained by CBS4 describe the events leading up to a deadly shooting on the 4th of July in Aurora. A corrections officer, Scott Mathews, is facing second second degree murder charges in the case.

Scott Mathews (credit: Aurora Police)

According to court records, Shamira Cotton, her boyfriend Jaharie Wheeler, and two kids started lighting fireworks in the courtyard of their apartment complex, located at 16498 East Alameda Place, around 10 p.m. on July 4.

At the time, Katherine O’Neal was letting her dogs out. Her dogs got scared by the fireworks, and she yelled at the family from a second-floor stairwell. Mathews, who is O’Neal’s boyfriend, started arguing with Cotton.

Court records state that Mathews then drew a gun, pointed it at Cotton’s chest, and head-butted her. Cotton then hit Mathews in the face with a drink. O’Neal, who is also a corrections officer, admitted drawing her gun, but said she didn’t point it at anyone, according to the affidavit filed in Arapahoe County court.

At that point, Wheeler came out of the apartment to confront Mathews about the blood on his girlfriend’s face. The two men got into a physical fight.

According to the affidavit, Mathews fired one shot at Wheeler — hitting him in the chest. Both O’Neal and Cotton performed CPR on Wheeler while neighbors kept Mathews from assisting.

Records show Mathews complied with officers on the scene, and said “I shot him.”

Mathews has been suspended without pay from the Department of Corrections as the state investigates and next steps are considered.


Ben Warwick


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