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Honk at traffic light prompted deadly road rage confrontation

Romeo Thompson honked at the victim when a traffic light turned green, which escalated into a fight and fatal shooting, an arrest affidavit says.
Credit: Aurora Police

AURORA, Colo. — A deadly confrontation between two drivers in Aurora began when the suspect honked at the victim who was in front of him when the traffic light turned green, an arrest affidavit for the suspect from the Aurora Police Department (APD) says.

Monday's incident began around 11:30 a.m. at the intersection of East Iliff Avenue and South Chambers Road, according to APD. The victim, identified as Phillip Lee Hunt, was facing east on East Iliff Avenue and when the light turned green, the suspect, Romeo Thompson, who was in a vehicle behind the victim, honked, the affidavit says.

Hunt's wife, who was in the passenger seat, told investigators her husband became annoyed that someone had honked at him, and "slowly accelerated," according to the affidavit.

RELATED: Aurora Police arrest suspect in road-rage incident that led to fatal shooting

Thompson then became "aggressive", the affidavit says, and "began to speed around" the victim and threw a plastic bottle at the victims' vehicle.

Hunt pulled behind Thompson, according to the document, and followed him at a "high rate of speed." Thompson ran red lights and was "driving erratically," according to the affidavit, and Hunt continued to follow.

Eventually, Thompson pulled over near the intersection of East Brown Avenue and East Yale Avenue, at which point both men exited their vehicles and began to argue, the affidavit says.

Hunt's wife said she initially remained in the vehicle and saw Thompson hit her husband with a black handgun and then heard "two to three shots," according to the affidavit. She said the weapon appeared to have red tape on it, the document says.

Thompson and his passenger got back into his vehicle and left the scene, the affidavit says. Hunt's wife took pictures of Thompson and a female passenger in his vehicle as well as a photo of the vehicle and its license plate, the affidavit says.

Using the license plate information, police found an address in Aurora associated with the vehicle and went to the home, where they found the vehicle sitting in the driveway, the affidavit says. Officers contacted the woman, who had been in the car with the Thompson, and learned she was supposed to meet Thompson at the Circle K located at 600 S. Buckley Rd., according to the affidavit.

Officers went to that location and found Thompson. Officers asked Thompson if he was armed and he said he was, the affidavit says. Officers then saw a black gun with red tape on the handle in his waistband, according to the document.

Once in custody, Thompson willingly gave a statement to police, according to the affidavit. He said he, his passenger and the victim all got out of their vehicles in the area of East Brown Drive and East Yale Avenue, and that the victim pushed him into the side of his car, according to the document.

He said, according to the affidavit, that the two struggled and that the victim threw him to the ground but he held onto the victim and they both fell to the ground. As they both tried to stand up, Thompson said that he "was able to pull his handgun out of his pants" and then "shot the victim" once, according to the affidavit.

The victim fell to the ground, and Thompson said he "shot him again," the affidavit says. At some point while the two were struggling, Thompson's phone fell to the ground and the victim grabbed it while he was on the ground, the affidavit says. 

RELATED: Possible road rage incident leads to fatal shooting in Aurora

Thompson told investigators, according the affidavit, he "demanded his phone" and then shot the victim, who was on the ground, a third time.

When police arrived at the shooting scene, they saw Hunt on the ground with his wife applying pressure to his wounds. They observed gunshot wounds to the victim's chest and abdomen. Hunt was taken to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Thompson,19, is facing charges of first-degree murder and possession of weapons by a previous offender.  

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