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Man pleads guilty in shooting of DPS student

The boy was shot on the first day of school in August just after he was picked up by his mother.

DENVER — A man accused of shooting and wounding a Denver Public Schools student while he was in a vehicle with his mother just after the school day ended pleaded guilty Thursday morning.

Katrelle James pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and as a result of the plea all of the other charges were dismissed.

According to an arrest affidavit from the Denver Police Department, an officer was flagged down around 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 22 near East 14th Avenue and North Downing Street. 

The officer learned about the shooting, which happened just after the then 13-year-old boy's mother picked him up from his first day of school.

The boy who was sitting in the front passenger seat of his mother's vehicle had a gunshot wound to his right arm.

His mother reported that the man, later identified as James, was yelling and screaming at other vehicles, and she slammed on her brakes to stop as he walked out into traffic, the affidavit says.

She said after James walked past the front of her vehicle, she continued to drive away eastbound on E. 14th Ave. As she did, she heard several gunshots from behind her vehicle and then heard screaming.

Officers later found nine shell casings and one live cartridge in the 1000-block of E. 14th Avenue. Three suspected bullet defects were found on the rear of her vehicle.

Credit: DPD
Katrelle James

James fled the scene and was arrested that same day. He was initially charged with:

  • 2 counts of attempted first-degree murder- extreme indifference
  • 2 counts of attempted first-degree murder – after deliberation
  • 1 count first-degree assault causing serious bodily injury
  • 1 count first-degree assault – extreme indifference
  • 1 count of illegal discharge of a firearm  
  • 4 sentence enhancers

He's set to be sentenced on July 5.

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