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Former officer was legally drunk at time of fatal shooting, affidavit says

The teen was armed with a "ghost" gun, which is made from parts and is not traceable to a manufacturer or seller, the affidavit says.

AURORA, Colo. — The former police officer who shot and killed a teen following a confrontation that began over speeding was legally drunk at the time of the shooting, an affidavit for his arrest from the Aurora Police Department (APD) says.

Peyton Blitstein, 17, was shot at least four times during an exchange of gunfire with Adam Holen, 36, on the night of Nov. 24 outside a home on South Addison Way in Southeast Aurora.

Blitstein later died. Holen was shot in the hip and was treated and released from the hospital early the next morning, according to the affidavit.

RELATED: Former Greenwood Village officer charged in deadly shooting of teen

On Wednesday, the 18th Judicial District Attorney's office formally charged Holen, who left the Greenwood Village Police Department (GVPD) just weeks before the shooting. He's charged with the following:

  • Second-degree murder
  • Felony menacing
  • Prohibited use of a weapon while drunk
  • 2 violent crime sentence enhancers

In a police interview, Holen said there were ongoing issues with this particular vehicle, a red Toyota Scion, speeding through his neighborhood. He told police on the night of Nov. 24, he had been visiting his mother's house and was driving home when the Scion "nearly crashed into him" and cut him off on Gun Club Road.

He said he followed the car and heard its tires screeching as it pulled into a neighborhood, the affidavit says. The car eventually stopped in front of a home on South Addison Way, which is the same street where Holen lives.

Holen said he pulled up next to their car and yelled at the teens inside to stop speeding.

RELATED: Father of Aurora teen killed in shooting remembers son's love of military, social justice

When interviewed all of the teens who were inside the Scion denied they were speeding or driving aggressively, according to the affidavit.

Investigators said they believe Holen was the primary aggressor because he initiated contact with the teens and as things became more heated, he chose to stay and continue the confrontation rather than driving away or returning home, the affidavit says.

Credit: Aurora Police Department
Adam Holen

It was Blitstein who fired first at Holen who then returned fire, the affidavit says. When Blitstein fired his weapon, however, Holen was advancing toward him and the other teen, according to the document.

Prior to the shooting, Holen had his gun out while sitting in his truck and had pointed it at one of the teens.

The teen reported that Holen, "lifted his gun up to eye level and pointed it directly at him," the affidavit says.

That teen told Blitstein that Holen had a weapon, according to the affidavit, which prompted Blitstein to get out of the car with his gun. The teen said he believed Holen was the "instigator", but also "felt responsible" because he had told Blitstein about the gun and if he hadn't the incident might not have turned into a shooting, the affidavit says.  

According to the affidavit, Blitstein was armed with a so-called "ghost" gun that was made from different parts and had no serial numbers. The affidavit says the gun could not be traced to the manufacturer or seller.

> The shooting was caught on the doorbell camera of a nearby home. Warning: This video contains images and audio that may be difficult for some people to watch, including graphic language and gun violence.

Video of the shooting recorded on a doorbell camera, shows Holen pointing his handgun outward from his body, the affidavit says. He's seen walking toward Blitstein and the other teen as Blitstein raises his gun to fire his weapon, according to the affidavit. 

Afterward, Holen did attempt to render aid to Blistein by assisting with CPR, the affidavit says. Hours later at the hospital Holen's blood alcohol content was .193, the affidavit says. In Colorado, a level of .08 is considered legally intoxicated.

According to GVPD records, Holen joined the department in August 2016 and resigned on Nov. 1 of this year.

If Holen is convicted of second-degree murder, the sentencing range is from 16 to 48 years, but the mandatory minimum is 16 years.


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