Investigative Update: Fatal Shooting on Pearl Street in Northglenn
Brighton, CO —Today, District Attorney Brian Mason and Northglenn Police Chief Jim May are providing an update on the investigation into the fatal shooting that occurred on Pearl Street in Northglenn on October 2, 2022.
Joint Statement of District Attorney Brian Mason and Northglenn Police Chief Jim May "On October 2, 2022, at approximately 2:00pm, a 15-year-old male and a 16-year-old male were fatally shot in the backyard of a residence along Pearl Street in Northglenn. The Northglenn Police Department conducted a thorough investigation of the incident. The Northglenn Police Department and the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office jointly reviewed all of the evidence for legal decisions related to arrest and charging. A summary of the entire investigation is made available with this statement.
After a thorough review of the evidence, the District Attorney’s Office and the Northglenn Police Department together concur that no arrest or charges should be filed in this case. The evidence reveals that, on the afternoon of Sunday, October 2nd, the residents of the home where this incident occurred saw an unknown and uninvited male in their backyard cutting the leaves and branches of their marijuana plant with a machete. A resident of the home grabbed a .45 caliber handgun, went outside, and said “Really? Get out of here.” In response, the unknown male ran into a shed-like structure attached to the residence. The resident said he then was targeted with multiple gunshots. He saw muzzle flashes aimed in his direction and heard several gunshots come from inside the shed. The resident then returned fire. The two male teens were inside the shed when this exchange of gunfire occurred. Each suffered gunshot wounds as a result of the shooting incident. One of the males died on scene and the other died at a local hospital. The resident was not injured.
When Northglenn Police arrived, they recovered a .40 caliber handgun and three fired .40 caliber shell casings near the bodies in the shed. They also found a large machete-style knife just outside the entrance to the structure. Ballistic evidence at the scene shows that shots were fired from inside the shed in the direction of the resident, who was outside the shed.
It was later determined that the deceased male teens were suspected of trespassing at another property in the area that same day. According to eyewitnesses and evidence from that scene, the two males allegedly broke into that nearby home shortly before the shooting by throwing an object through a window. While inside this property, they allegedly stole an air soft gun. This air soft gun was recovered inside of a bag at the scene of the subsequent shooting.
The outcome of this incident is tragic. Two teenagers are dead, and their loss is heartbreaking. The District Attorney’s Office and the Northglenn Police Department must follow the law and the evidence, however, and the evidence clearly shows that the resident of the home acted in self-defense when he returned fire after being fired upon multiple times. Therefore, the resident will not be arrested or charged in this incident."
Click on the link below to review a redacted copy of the Northglenn Police Department Report from this incident.
Ms. Gazelka is a forensic therapist and clinician in Denver, Colorado. She is currently focused on providing therapy and assessment services to adult offenders in the community corrections and parole systems as a supervisor at Correctional Psychology Associates (CPA). Her education and career have been devoted to the intersection of psychology and law since 2000. Ms. Gazelka has been working within the field of forensic and correctional psychology since 2006, providing therapy in the community and acute mental health care and risk assessments in county jails. She has practiced as a Licensed Professional Counselor since June 2012. She also became a Licensed Addiction Counselor in March 2014. She was listed as a full operating level DVOMB Approved Provider in June 2019 and started a fledgling DV program oriented to Colorado’s Department of Corrections at CPA in September 2019. Ms. Gazelka was appointed to the Domestic Violence Offender Management Board (DVOMB) in March 2019 and has started her second term with the board. Ms. Gazelka has been recognized for her work as Contributor of the Year at CPA in 2010 and 2012, as well as having been awarded an Alumni Impact Award for her forensic work in the community by University of Denver’s GSPP in 2019. Ms. Gazelka received her Master of Arts degree in Forensic Clinical Psychology from University of Denver's Graduate School of Professional Psychology in 2009. Ms. Gazelka also received her Juris Doctorate from William Mitchell College of Law in 2007, obtaining attorney’s licenses in both Minnesota and Colorado (currently inactive).
Alex Castro Croy
Alex Castro Croy is a bilingual, bicultural, Trauma and Addiction Counselor and owner/Lead Clinician of Life Recovery Centers in Denver and Northglenn Colorado.
A first-generation immigrant from Mexico who accomplished his dream in higher education receiving an AA in Pastoral Ministry (Dallas, Texas), Bachelor of Science in Human Services (MSU in Denver, Colorado) and MA in Community Counseling from Regis University (Denver, Co). He is continuing to pursue his MA/Ph.D. from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Jungian and Archetypal Studies.
Alex’s passion includes training, teaching, counseling, and consulting. He has been an Adjunct Professor for the Human Services Department at MSU-Denver for 9 years. He has served as an Interventionist for the Latino GLBTQ community, Drug Court Probation Officer at Denver Juvenile Court Probation (8 years), Bilingual Diversion Officer for Denver DA office (5 years), and currently owner and director of Life Recovery Centers (7 years). He has worked with a variety of clients from all walks of life and his eclectic therapeutic interventions have proven to be effective in treating trauma and addiction.
Thea Wessel is an addictions counselor with a private practice in Colorado. She has been working in the criminal and addiction fields for thirteen years. Ms. Wessel earned her Masters in forensic psychology from the University of Denver and has her LPC, LAC, MAC, NCAAC, and ADS. She is working towards her Ph.D. in Transpersonal Psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies. Ms. Wessel continually challenges herself and others to provide quality addiction treatment and ways to continue to educate the community about addiction issues.