A 21-year-old Denver woman was killed in a suspected carjacking attempt on U.S. 287 in Boulder County, sheriff’s officials said.
Two residents of the Greeley area were arrested and face second-degree murder charges in connection with the shooting.
According to a Boulder County Sheriff’s Office news release, 23-year-old Martin Cerda and 24-year-old Adriana Vargas were arrested early Sunday and face one charge each of second-degree murder. Cerda also faces charges of attempted aggravated robbery, vehicular eluding and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. Vargas also faces a charge of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and was also arrested on several warrants not related to the homicide investigation.
According to the news release, a Larimer County sheriff’s deputy attempted to stop a vehicle that he suspected of driving under the influence near Berthoud. The vehicle eluded the deputy and the deputy stopped the pursuit when he lost sight of the vehicle heading south on U.S. 287 near Colo. 56.
At about 12:30 a.m., the Boulder County Communications Center got a report of a disabled vehicle on U.S. 287 at Yellowstone Road in unincorporated Boulder County north of Longmont. It was also reported that people were seen running away from the vehicle.
About 10 minutes later, the center got a call from a hospital in Longmont noting physicians were treating a patient with an apparent gunshot wound. The 21-year-old female patient was pronounced dead shortly after arriving at the hospital.
Deputies with both Boulder and Larimer counties’ sheriff’s departments investigated with the help of both counties’ SWAT teams to search for the people who had abandoned the vehicle. Four people were found in a camper trailer parked on a nearby residential property. Two men and two women were taken into custody without incident and were taken to the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office to be interviewed.
Investigators determined from evidence at the scene of the shooting and interviews with the suspects that the victim did not appear to be connected with the suspects.
According to the news release, investigators believe the woman who was riding in a vehicle driven by her mother happened upon the suspects in their disabled vehicle near the intersection of U.S. 287 and Yellowstone Road. According to the news release, investigators say the suspects got out of their vehicle and shot at the victim’s vehicle with a handgun, hitting the 21-year-old woman.
Investigators believe Cerda, the primary suspect, shot at the victim’s vehicle in an attempt to carjack them.
A third person in addition to Cerda and Vargas was detained on warrants unrelated to the homicide investigation.
The identity of the victim has not been released, pending notification of next of kin.