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Ryan Thompson ID'd as murder victim at Aurora's Smoky Hill Liquor, teen in custody (41)

Update: Earlier this week, we told you about a murder outside Aurora's Smoky Hill Liquor store; see our previous coverage below.

The victim has now been identified as Ryan Thompson, 22 -- and there's been an arrest in the case.

The suspect in custody is a seventeen year old whose name will not be released unless prosecutors decide to charge him as an adult. Photos, video and details about the latest developments below.

At about 8:25 p.m. on Sunday, February 23, as we've reported, Aurora police officers were dispatched to a strip mall on the 15200 block of East Smoky Hill Road on a report of a shooting.

There, they found a man now ID'd as Thompson in very critical condition, owing to multiple gunshot wounds. He was rushed to a nearby hospital, but upon his arrival there, he was pronounced dead.

Friends of Ryan Thompson gather near Smoky Hill Liquor, as seen in a CBS4 images.
Friends of Ryan Thompson gather near Smoky Hill Liquor, as seen in a CBS4 images.

By the following day, with assistance from eyewitness tips, the Aurora cops had located what they described as "a possible suspect vehicle in the case" -- a big find, since ownership information can be traced.

Then, the APD announced that they'd taken a seventeen year old into custody in the case. CBS4 reports that the teen turned himself in.

Thompson, a college student who'd been attending classes at the Auraria campus, is said to have had "an ongoing dispute" with the suspect. Friends tell the station that he was with a group when someone asked the teen a question, and he reacted by getting scared, pulling a gun and firing several times in Thompson's direction before splitting.

Police are trying to determine how many others may have been in the car that spirited the teen away from the scene. Obviously, they, too, could face charges.

Ryan Thompson ID'd as murder victim at Aurora's Smoky Hill Liquor, teen in custody (41)

In the meantime, the Arapahoe County District Attorney's Office is expected to get the case in short order. Staffers there will determine if the teen is to face adult charges -- and if he does, his identity will be made public.

Thompson's obituary page, which features football graphics, notes that services have been scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, March 1, at Gateway Christian Church, 14700 East Mississippi Avenue in Aurora. Our sincere condolences to Thompson's friends, family and loved ones.

Here's a CBS4 report about the latest developments, followed by our previous coverage.

Continue for our previous coverage of the murder at Aurora's Smoky Hill Liquor, including photos and an interactive video.

Original post, 6:50 a.m. February 24: In our post about an apparent double-murder/suicide in Thornton, we noted that last night was a particularly bloody one in the metro area.

As evidence, we offer a fatal shooting outside an Aurora liquor store. The wounds were struck within about twenty minutes or so of gunfire erupting in the other tragic incident.

Look below for photos and more about what went down at Smoky Hill Liquor.

Photos from the scene courtesy of 9News.
Photos from the scene courtesy of 9News.

As was the case in the Thornton shootings, the first official communication from police about the Aurora matter came via Twitter:

Unfortunately, what was once an unknown condition is understood all too well now. According to an Aurora Police Department release, the victim, described thus far only as an adult male, was pronounced dead shortly after his arrival at an area hospital.

The coroner's office in the jurisdiction has yet to render an official cause of death, but the man is said to have been shot multiple times at 15275 East Smoky Hill Road, the address of Smoky Hill Liquor.

Ryan Thompson ID'd as murder victim at Aurora's Smoky Hill Liquor, teen in custody (41)

Several people thought to have witnessed part or all of the slaying have spoken to detectives thus far. However, early descriptions of possible suspects are extremely vague, as evidenced by this follow-up tweet:

Anyone with additional information about the killing is encouraged to phone Detective Alton Reed at 303-739-6068 or Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible.

Look below to see an interactive graphic of the area near the scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Double-murder/suicide suspected on Welby Road Terrace in Thornton (39-40)."