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Denver shooting started with argument over hit-and-run crash, police say

The shooting happened about 11:30 p.m. Friday in the area of 16th Avenue and Irving Street.

DENVER — A fatal shooting Friday night in the West Colfax neighborhood stemmed from an argument between the suspect and the victim over a hit-and-run crash, according to the Denver Police Department.

DPD said the shooting happened about 11:30 p.m. in the area of West 16th Avenue and Irving Street. The victim, identified as Ricardo Santos Jr., was taken to the hospital, where he died.

The suspect, 20-year-old Vincent Tapia, was arrested on first-degree murder charges, according to police. He was being held in the Denver jail.

Tapia and the victim knew each other, according to the DPD probable cause (PC) statement in the case.

The victim was driving a vehicle in which Tapia and two others were passengers on Friday night. The two female witnesses who were in the vehicle told officers after the shooting that they were on their way to a nightclub, according to the PC statement.

While they were driving, the two men were drinking alcohol and rolling a marijuana cigarette, and the victim handed a handgun to Tapia, the PC statement says.

While on Federal Boulevard, the driver crashed into the back of another vehicle and drove away from the scene. The two men argued over the crash. They stopped the vehicle in the area of 16th and Irving and got out of the vehicle to fight, the PC statement says.

That was when Tapia pulled out the handgun and shot the other man twice, then ran from the scene, the PC statement says.

Tapia was arrested in the area of 13th Avenue and Knox Street minutes after the 911 call. Officers searched him and found a handgun, though officers didn't find any cartridge casings consistent with the handgun at the scene, according to the PC statement.

Credit: Denver Police Department
Vincent Tapia

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