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COMMERCE CITY – The tranquil sounds on the streets of the Villages of Buffalo Run filled with kids coming back home from school and homeowners walking their dogs were drowned out by the sounds …
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COMMERCE CITY – The tranquil sounds on the streets of the Villages of Buffalo Run filled with kids coming back home from school and homeowners walking their dogs were drowned out by the sounds of sirens and gunfire Thursday.
A 23-year-old man was shot killed and another injured after an afternoon crime spree ended at the intersection of 120th Avenue and Chambers Road with a hail of police gunfire.
Kandace Williams said she heard popping sounds that sounded like firecrackers. When she looked out the rear window of her bedroom at her home on 118th Avenue, she saw police in vehicles and on foot. She also could hear sirens coming from all directions. “I was upstairs and I didn’t know what was going on or what I should do,” she said “I stayed in the house.”
She was stunned when she learned it was a police shooting.
“You never expect that something like this would happen in such a quiet neighborhood,” she said. “I am shocked.”
Police said it all began about 4 p.m. when a man told police that two individuals rear-ended his car with a white Toyota sedan in the 15800 block of E. 107th Avenue. When the man stopped, the suspects allegedly took him out of the vehicle and robbed him at gunpoint. The suspects returned to their Toyota and took off at a high rate of speed.
Two Commerce City Police detectives, in the area on a separate call, pursued the suspects. The suspects wrecked the vehicle at 120th Avenue and Chambers and tried to carjack other motorists.
That’s when the detectives fired at the two men.
Nine-year-old Gia lives close to where the two men were shot. She just returned home from school and was outside playing with her friend, Alexis.
“I heard two loud pops that I thought were firecrackers,” the youngster said. “Seconds later I heard more pops and then I heard men yelling. They were using a really bad word.
“I turned real slow and looked at the field,” she continued. “I saw two men chasing two other men and they had guns in their hands.
“I was really scared,” she continued. “I turned to Alexis and yelled real loud, ‘Run Alexis. Run home now.’ Alexis ran toward her house, and I ran into my house through the garage.”
Gia’s mom, Lonna, was inside her home when she heard her daughter running through the garage.
“Gia came running into the house screaming, ‘Mommy call 911 quick. People are shooting at each other outside.,” Lonna said. “I grabbed the phone and dialed 911. While I was waiting for an answer, I looked out the kitchen window and saw two men running through the field. Another man was lying in the street while another man was standing over him with a gun. The man who was running turned and started walking towards a second man with a gun. I am not sure if the man with the gun shot at the other man. But I saw him start to move slowly, then fall to the ground.”
Initially Lonna did not know that two men were carjackers and the two other men were police detectives.
“For all I knew they were drug dealers shooting at each other,” she said.
Both of the suspects were wounded but still attempted to run from police. They were arrested and transported to area hospitals where one of the men – Peter Ramirez – later died.
The other suspect, whose name was not released, was in a local hospital late last week. The names of the two detectives involved had not been released as of Monday morning.
It was a frightening turn of events for Gia on a day where she woke up excited to go see Disney on Ice that evening. The family still went to the show and, when they got home, all of the streets were still blocked. Lonna was proud her daughter knew what to do but the incident was a sad reminder that violence can happen anywhere.
“I thought we were living in a good neighborhood,” she said. “I didn’t think I was living in the ‘hood. I guess in today’s world we should expect anything. I just never expected to witness something like this.”
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