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Teens shot at Boulder County trailhead were waiting for rides after car crash

A 21-year-old man and 17-year-old boy face charges of attempted murder for the May 13 shooting near a Boulder County trailhead.

BOULDER COUNTY, Colo. — A 21-year-old man arrested in a shooting that wounded two teens told his girlfriend he had shot someone after becoming upset at one of the victims who he claimed had pointed a gun at him when he refused to give him a ride.

Jafet Hernandez Gonzalez, 21, and a 17-year-old boy were arrested. Each faces the following charges related to the shooting near a Boulder County trailhead in the early morning hours of May 13:

  • Two counts of first-degree attempted murder
  • First-degree assault
  • Second-degree assault
  • Felony menacing

Additional charges are possible, according to the Boulder County Sheriff's Office, which announced the arrests on Wednesday.

The shooting happened on Flagstaff Road in unincorporated Boulder County. The victims, a 17-year-old boy and an 18-year-old man, were shot from a passing vehicle as they were standing outside a parked vehicle at the Crown Rock Trailhead, a City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks property.

One of the victims was driving on Flagstaff Road with a group of other juveniles in the vehicle when he crashed into a guardrail, according to an arrest affidavit from the Boulder County Sheriff's Office 

The vehicle was not drivable so the group began walking. Someone saw the group and thought it was odd so they called 911. 

One of the girls who had been in the car called a friend to pick her up and she reported that Hernandez Gonzalez came with that friend and was driving, the affidavit says. She reported that one of the victims also tried to get in Hernandez Gonzalez's vehicle but was told he could not get in. 

According to the girl, the victim hit the hood of the car and claimed he had a glock. They left and she reported that Hernandez Gonzalez was upset by the victim's comments and made statements about going back to shoot the victim. She said the others stayed behind waiting for additional rides.

Before deputies arrived the rest of the group was picked up by one of the victim's uncle, the affidavit says. However, there were too many people to fit in the car so he drove to a nearby trailhead to wait for additional rides, according to the document.

When deputies responded they located the crashed vehicle unoccupied. As they investigated that scene, a Dodge Charger passed them at a high speed, the affidavit says. That vehicle was later located at a King Soopers store by Boulder Police where it was discovered that one of the occupants had a gunshot wound. 

Investigators interviewed the occupants of the Charger. They learned that when they got to the trailhead parking lot most of the occupants got out of the vehicle to wait for additional rides.

As they waited a vehicle went past them turned around and drove past them again, the affidavit says. When they passed the second time, shots were fired from the vehicle, according to the document.

Both wounded victims got into the Charger. They were headed to a hospital when their vehicle was contacted by police at the King Soopers.

A 17-year-old victim had a serious leg injury that required surgery, according to the sheriff's office. The 18-year-old victim had a minor injury and was treated and released. Both are from the Thornton area.

Using data from a license plate reader, investigators responded to an address of a vehicle that was driving in the area of the shooting. They spoke with someone at the home who told investigators that Hernandez Gonzalez told him he had shot someone. The man told investigators he encouraged Hernandez Gonzalez to come home and deal with the situation, the affidavit says.

Investigators also contacted Hernandez Gonzalez's girlfriend, who also reported that he told her had shot someone. She said Hernandez Gonzalez told her that he told the victim he could not get in his car and that the victim pointed a gun at him, the affidavit says.

She said she later searched for news reports and when she read about the shooting she knew Hernandez Gonzalez was telling the truth.

As part of the investigation, a search warrant was executed at a home near Highway 36 and Pecos Street in Adams County. Detectives also impounded multiple vehicles involved with the crime, according to BCSO.

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