Documents shed light on East Colfax shooting

DENVER - A police report obtained by 9NEWS on Friday sheds new light on what happened just before a 39-year-old man was shot and killed outside of a 7-Eleven off of East Colfax Avenue early Sunday morning.

Three people are in custody for the death of Justin Slyter, whose wallet was taken just before he was gunned down. 

Ru Shawn Wharton, 41, was arrested for first-degree murder in connection with the shooting late Thursday night. David Houston, 25, and a juvenile were arrested earlier this week.

According to the police report, Wharton is a well-known transient on East Colfax who goes by “New York.” The morning of Slyter’s murder, police say surveillance video indicates Wharton was standing outside the 7-Eleven near Pearl Street when Slyter walked up.

RELATED: Man shot, killed on Colfax; 2 in custody

Shortly thereafter, police say Wharton started to hit him – at one point, sending him toppling onto the ground.

Later, two other people got out of a vehicle also began to beat Slyter – and police say one of them took his wallet out of his pocket while Wharton was pinning him down and got back into the car.

Police say Slyter was seen getting up and running toward the white car. A witness told police she thought he was trying to get his wallet back.

When Slyter tried to grab the person in the backseat, the witness told police he was shot and killed.

Houston appeared in court Tuesday afternoon. According to court documents, he told police that he’s innocent and was the victim of being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

He said he was just at the 7-Eleven to buy cigarettes and Swisher Sweets when he saw the fight break out.
Houston also denied taking Slyter’s wallet.

The third person in custody has not been identified because he is under 18 and has not yet been charged as an adult.

© 2017 KUSA-TV


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