Crime

Daniel Abeyta decision letter: Shotgunned feet, explosives, a cop acting as a sniper

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Another witness told investigators she'd seen Abeya standing in front of Roskilly's house pointing and firing a pistol -- presumably the fatal shot. Afterward, those who knew Roskilly speculated that she'd been trying to come to the aid of Autume, who she'd befriended, when Abeyta killed her.

Afterward, the witness says Abeyta, who is said to have had two additional guns strapped to him, grabbed a bag from one of his vehicles -- presumably one containing ammunition that's depicted in photos accompanying the decision letter. He also allegedly shot at the propane tank, causing it to fly down the street.

By now, police were either arriving on the scene or on the way, and they soon discovered an additional complication: Autume's seven-year-old daughter was also present and reacting with understandable hysterics. During the 911 call, the letter notes the girl screaming "Mom!" and "Mommy!" as Autume struggled to maintain consciousness.

Meanwhile, numerous people saw Abeyta in the street. Among other things, he's quoted as declaring, "I didn't do anything!"

The cops quickly began establishing a perimeter and got out their long guns -- necessary because they needed to maintain distance between them and Abeyta due to the abundant weaponry on display. Here's the report's inventory of his arsenal:
Abetya was armed with a Savage 30-06 rifle, mounted on a tripod, a 12 gauge shotgun with a drum magazine attached, and a 9mm handgun. He also had a black bag in which were two boxes of ammunition for the 30-06 rifle; 12 boxes of 9mm handgun ammunition; three boxes of 12 gauge ammunition and a 20 round shotgun drum magazine.

The 30-06 rifle has a four round magazine capacity and Abeyta's rifle had an ammunition holder on the stock loaded with additional rounds. When Denver police firearms examined the rifle, it was found to have a round in the chamber and two rounds in the magazine; his 9mm handgun contained one live round in the chamber and seven rounds in the magazine. The shotgun found to have one live round in the chamber and 18 rounds in the drum.

Another reason for concern was a warning forwarded by the 911 dispatcher on the line with Autume. In her words, Autume's daughter claimed Abeyta "said he wanted to have a shoot-out with officers."

Continue for more about the Daniel Abeyta case, including photos, a video and the decision letter.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts