COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – A man accused of shooting a burglary suspect in Commerce City on Monday is now charged with first-degree murder. William Schuette, 20, allegedly admitted shooting at a suspect as he tried to drive away from the convenience store.
Commerce City police officers rushed to the area of 10700 Belle Creek Boulevard just before 5 a.m. on reports of a burglary and shots fired.READ MORE: Xcel Energy Sets All-Time Record Peak Energy Demand During Heat Wave
According to the affidavit, when officers arrived at the scene, they found a Volkswagen that had crashed into several other vehicles. A man in the driver’s seat had been shot multiple times and was deceased. He was tentatively identified as James Martinez.
Investigators say Schuette approached officers and told them he opened fire on men who were robbing the Haraf Foods Market. Schuette lives in an apartment above the market. Schuette’s girlfriend said they woke up when they heard a loud alarm and glass breaking downstairs.
Schuette allegedly told the officers he was “scared as f***” and went out on his balcony, without clothes on, and fired shots at the Volkswagen as the driver tried to leave.
He allegedly told officers “those people scared the f*** out of me.”
He stated that he shot at the driver of the vehicle and asked if the driver was OK.READ MORE: Auto Repair Students Help Denver Police Tackle Growing Catalytic Converter Theft Problem
Schuette was taken into custody on suspicion of murder. While being transported, he allegedly said “I was the one who shot at the driver of the vehicle.”
Inside his apartment officers found a black AR-15 style rifle.
At least two other burglary suspects ran from the area. Officers searched the area and detained a male for questioning.
According to the affidavit, the male told investigators that he was with two men he knew only as “Joe” and “Too Bad.”
The male said Joe used a crowbar to break the window on the west side of the business. He said they both entered the store and Joe jumped the counter while he held the bag open for Joe to load cigarettes and lighters into the bag. He said the alarm started going off and he heard what he believed was someone banging on the glass telling them it was time to leave.
He said he and Joe left the store through the broken window and ran towards the waiting car, but when they turn the corner they saw the car was no longer there. He said he and Joe ran eastbound, and he could hear an unknown man yelling something at them. He said he saw a green laser flicking at him and Joe as they ran, and he believed someone was chasing after them but never turned around to look. He said they were jumping fences to get away and while doing so they met up with Too Bad who told them that someone got shot. He said they continued running, and he lost sight of Joe and Too Bad.MORE NEWS: Woman Dies After Falling 40 Feet At Climbing Gym In Fort Collins
Schuette was formally advised of the charges on Friday. The case is set for a preliminary hearing on March 5.