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17-year-old charged as adult in Denver homicide case

The Denver District Attorney's Office has filed charges against the suspect in the Jan. 11 shooting of Aaliyah Granados Cortez.

DENVER — The Denver District Attorney's Office said Monday they have charged a 17-year-old boy as an adult in a shooting that killed a 16-year-old girl this month.

Brandon Louis Sandoval faces:

  • One count of first-degree murder after deliberation
  • One count of felony menacing
  • One count of possession of a handgun as a juvenile

On Jan. 11, officers from the Denver Police Department (DPD) responded to a call of a shooting at 4670 N. Peoria St. When officers arrived on scene, they found a victim seated in the passenger seat of a car, suffering from an apparent gunshot wound, according to police.

Police said the shooting occurred in the 5400 block of North Atchison Way and the victim was transported to the hospital from Peoria Street.

The victim underwent emergency surgery but died the following day, according to police. Her family identified her as Aaliyah Granados Cortez.

Credit: Luis de Leon
Jennifer Granados Cortez holds a photo of her sister, Aaliyah Granados Cortez. She stands between her mother and one of Aaliyah's close friends.

During interviews with a witness, police learned that the victim and the female witness were driving to a house in Commerce City when one of them decided to sell THC vape pens to someone she had been communicating with over the app Snapchat, according to court documents.

Aaliyah's family told 9NEWS three days after the shooting that the other person in the vehicle was her sister, Jennifer Granados Cortez, and that they were driving from the home of one set of grandparents in Centennial to another set of grandparents in Commerce City.

The buyer said to meet them in the 5500 block of Atchison Way, the affidavit says. While driving in the unfamiliar neighborhood, the victim and witness became lost, and two people approached their car from a park, according to police.

The witness told police that one of the approaching people came up to the car window and pointed a gun. The driver threw the THC vape pens out of the car and attempted to drive away, according to the affidavit. The car lost traction on the ice, and the person with the gun grabbed onto the car and reached inside through the window, the affidavit says.

The witness said the victim reached over and began hitting the suspect to get him to let go, court documents say. The witness told police she then heard a gunshot and the suspect let go. The victim said that she was shot and couldn't breathe, the affidavit says. They drove to the area of 4670 N. Peoria St., looking for a hospital, when the victim passed out, according to the affidavit.

On Jan. 12, DPD obtained a search warrant for the buyer's Snapchat account and served the warrant to Snapchat, the affidavit says.

On Jan. 13, DPD received information from Snapchat about the account. While reviewing the account, police found a photograph of a Colorado Identification card belonging to Sandoval, the affidavit said.

While reviewing records from Snapchat, police learned that during the time of the shooting, the account holder was in the area of Falcon Park and the 5400 block of Atchison Way, where the shooting occurred, police said.

Through a photo lineup, the witness was able to identify Sandoval, according to the affidavit.



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