Loveland police arrest 2 additional juvenile suspects in January shooting
Loveland police have arrested a total of three Greeley teens in a shooting last month that left a young man dead and another injured.
Three 15-year-old males from Greeley have been arrested in connection to the shooting: The first arrest was made Jan. 31. On Monday, police announced the arrests of two others on Feb. 2 and Feb 5.
Charges have been filed against the juveniles arrested Jan. 31 and Feb. 2, but charges are still pending against the juvenile most recently arrested, 8th Judicial District Attorney Gordon McLaughlin said during a news conference at the Loveland Police Department on Monday.
Both juveniles who have been charged are facing multiple felony counts, including first-degree murder, second-degree murder, criminal attempt to commit first-degree murder, aggravated motor vehicle theft, aggravated robbery, first-degree assault and possession of a dangerous weapon. McLaughlin said he expects charges will be filed against the third juvenile in the next few days.
"The significant arrests have been made, and we do believe the community is safe at this point," McLaughlin said.
The two suspects who have been charged face those charges in juvenile court, McLaughlin said, and their identities will not be shared with the public. McLaughlin said state law does not allow for 15-year-olds to be immediately charged as adults, but prosecutors can try to transfer those cases to adult court after charges are filed. The investigation in this case is ongoing, and McLaughlin said his office will make that decision after the investigation concludes.
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"I am incredibly proud of my investigative team and the DA's office who worked tirelessly to bring justice," Loveland Police Chief Tim Doran said during Monday's news conference. "The Loveland Police Department will not stand for this level of senseless violence in our community."
The shooting occurred Jan. 20 at the Brookstone Apartment complex, 2500 E. First St., shortly after 10:15 p.m. Police found Nasier Graham, 18, of Loveland, dead in the parking lot. The Larimer County Coroner's Office ruled his death a homicide from gunshot wounds.
"Nas was not just some anybody, he was loved by his family, his friends, his co-workers, his school members and his coaches," family representative Okema Bassett said during the news conference. "We looked forward to seeing him get married, have children ... We are just saddened and broken."
Another family representative, Corletta Hithon, called for law changes to protect children and young people from gun violence.
"My biggest concern is the loss. This didn't just touch this family, this touches families all over the United States, the world," Hithon said. "This goes deeper than anything. Bills need to be changed, laws need to be changed. ... Our kids are the ones dying because of this. When does it stop? It needs to stop now."
A 16-year-old male found in the parking lot sustained a gunshot wound, and police said he was transported to the hospital for treatment. Doran said he is now recovering from his injuries at home.
While Graham and the 16-year-old victim were not together that night, Doran said the 16-year-old knew who Graham was, "and it broke his heart" to learn he was killed.
The preliminary investigation indicated that Graham was shot while at his car in an apartment complex's parking lot. After he was shot, investigators believe the two juvenile suspects got into his vehicle and left the complex's parking lot, following a white pickup truck.
Police say that as the suspects drove into the east side of the complex, one of their vehicles slid into a second vehicle, which was occupied by the 16-year-old victim. A verbal argument ensued, and the 16-year-old was shot. The two young male suspects got back into the white pickup truck, and all suspects left the parking lot, investigators believe.
Doran said investigators are not aware of any connection between the three suspects and the two victims.
"It was random, senseless murder," Doran said. "... There is no indication that they purposefully left their homes in Greeley specifically to come to that apartment complex to find a specific individual."
Police have not said if one or multiple of the juvenile suspects shot the victims. Doran said Monday both weapons that investigators believe were used in the shooting have been found.
Police had previously asked for the public's help to identify the suspects and the vehicle they believed was involved — a white Dodge Ram pickup truck. The truck was recovered when the first suspect was arrested Jan. 31.
Doran said the department received more than 90 tips about this case that helped lead investigators to arresting the three suspects.
All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in court. Arrests and charges are merely accusations by law enforcement until, and unless, a suspect is convicted of a crime.
This article originally appeared on Fort Collins Coloradoan: Loveland shooting investigation leads to arrests of 3 Greeley teens