AURORA, Colo. — A corrections officer is facing a second-degree murder charge after police say he shot a neighbor during a fight about children setting off fireworks on the Fourth of July.
Scott Alan Mathews, 26, admitted to shooting Jaharie Wheeler, 36, in the courtyard of their apartment complex in the 16000 block of East Alameda Place in Aurora, an arrest affidavit in the case states. Wheeler died after being transported to the hospital.
The affidavit says the altercation began between the two men's girlfriends.
Just before 10:30 p.m. on July 4, Shamira Cotton told police she and her boyfriend, Wheeler, returned to their apartment after leaving a fireworks show, the affidavit says.
Cotton then watched, as the affidavit states, her 14-year-old stepson and 9-year-old daughter began shooting off fireworks in the apartment courtyard.
Katherine O'Neal, Mathews' girlfriend, told police the fireworks scared her dog so she began yelling at the children, the affidavit says.
According to the affidavit, this started an argument between the two women and eventually, Mathews stepped in.
At some point during the argument, the affidavit says Mathews headbutted Cotton. Cotton also told police Mathews pointed a handgun at her during the argument, according to the affidavit, but later holstered it.
The affidavit says that Cotton threw a drink she was holding at Mathews.
The fight drew the attention of Wheeler, who the affidavit says had been in his apartment cooking.
The affidavit says Wheeler saw blood on Cotton's face from where she had been headbutted and punched Mathews.
The two men continued to struggle when the affidavit says Mathews pulled his handgun back out and fired one shot at Wheeler.
Mathews was taken into custody at the apartment complex, according to the affidavit. While he was being arrested, the affidavit says Mathews told the officer, "I shot him."
Wheeler was rushed to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
Mathews is currently being held without bond. He is a corrections officer with the Colorado Department of Corrections.
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