An Adams County judge has ruled there is sufficient evidence to proceed in the case against the man who is accused of opening fire on a family and a bystander in an attack that prosecutors allege stemmed from road rage.
Jeremy Webster has been charged with 11 counts for the June 14 incident, which happened outside of a dentist’s office near West 80th Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard. Judge Don Quick ruled the case may proceed following a two-day preliminary hearing that ended Tuesday afternoon.
Quick also denied a request from the defense to allow bail, saying that there is enough evidence for Webster to potentially be convicted of first-degree murder.
Webster is charged with murder, attempted murder and assault for the violent incident that left 13-year-old Vaughn Bigelow Jr. dead. His mother, 41-year-old Meghan Bigelow, and brother, 8-year-old Asa Bigelow, were seriously wounded in the attack, which prosecutors said stemmed from a road rage incident moments before. A fourth child, 12-year-old Cooper Bigelow, was uninjured and received credit from investigators for helping law enforcement identify the suspect and his vehicle by unlocking his mom’s phone.
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Another man, since identified as 40-year-old John Gale, was shot while he was sitting in the car with his daughter waiting for her dentist appointment. During the preliminary hearing, Det. Bernard Vonfeldt testified that Gale told his young daughter to crouch on the floor of his truck just before Webster opened fire.
Webster is also charged with endangering that young girl’s life — something Quick upheld at the end of the preliminary hearing despite objections from the defense, who argued he didn’t know she was in the car.
At this point, more than 2,500 pages of discovery documents have been turned over to the defense, Webster’s attorneys said.
Webster’s team appeared to be laying the groundwork for potential mental health issues during the preliminary hearing, something Quick said was not appropriate for this stage in the legal proceedings against him.
The final three hours of the first day of the preliminary hearing were not open to the public, since Quick was tasked with watching a more than three-hour interview with Webster after he was taken into custody. During the continued hearing on Tuesday, Quick indicated that the video was not shown in open court because it contained medical information.
Webster is slated to appear in court again the morning of Nov. 27.
Testimony from the preliminary hearing painted a more detailed picture of what happened before and after the suspect allegedly opened fire on multiple strangers.
Westminster Det. Bernard Vonfeldt recounted an interview with Cooper Bigelow, who said his mom was taking him and his brothers to the dentist’s office when they saw an emergency vehicle behind them on Sheridan.
Vonfeldt said Cooper Bigelow told investigators that his mom tried to pull over, but that there was a black sedan in the right lane. The man driving that car, Vonfeldt said he was told, swore at Bigelow and didn’t let her get over.
Later, Vonfeldt said Meghan and Cooper Bigelow told him that they realized that same vehicle followed them into the parking lot of the Cedarwood Square Office Complex at 5150 W. 80th Avenue. Cooper Bigelow said his mom took out her phone and shot a picture of the suspect’s black Toyota Corolla — something that would ultimately lead to an arrest.
Vonfeldt said Cooper Bigelow told investigators his mom started walking into the dentist’s office with him and his brothers when the gunman came up behind them. Gale, who watched the whole thing from the front window of his vehicle, told investigators that the suspect was holding a gun, according to Vonfeldt’s testimony.
Vonfeldt said Cooper Bigelow would later run into the dentist’s office and yell “my mom is getting shot!”
Gale told Vonfeldt that he saw the suspect walk back toward his vehicle, and thought it was so he could reload. He said the gunman walked back toward where Meghan Bigelow had been shot, and then made eye contact with him.
Investigators said Gale recounted the gunman firing at his vehicle multiple times, and that he was shot in the arm. Gale said he tried to back up, but that it was difficult because Meghan Bigelow was on the ground right next to his truck. Ultimately, Vonfeldt said Gale told investigators he maneuvered backward and into a pole, hoping it would be a distraction.
Gale would then get his 8-year-old daughter out of the backseat and run with her into a dentist’s office for cover.
Vonfeldt said a man he spoke to who was inside the dentist’s office at the time said he watched the gunman walk over to a boy who was hunched in the nearby grass and shoot him “execution-style.”
Officer Charles Rush was one of the first members of law enforcement on the scene after the shooting. During his testimony on Friday, he described a large amount of blood on the ground, and finding two of the children in a grassy area. One of them was apparently dead, Rush said, and the other was severely wounded with his intestines spilling out onto the ground.
Vonfeldt said officers were able to track the suspect vehicle seen on Meghan Bigelow’s phone as belonging to Webster and asked other law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout.
Webster had been in Westminster working on a home remodel job for his cousin, according to Vonfeldt, and had gone to Home Depot to buy a saw 30 minutes after the shooting.
He was taken into custody on Interstate 25 near Castle Rock that afternoon, and was apparently headed back to his home in Colorado Springs.
According to an arrest affidavit released this summer, Webster admitted to the shooting and said he had mental health issues and had changed medication that day.
During Tuesday’s hearing, the attorneys discussed statements he made after being arrested about feeling like he was out of body and not recognizing Meghan Bigelow.