Man held without bail after New Year’s shooting that killed two |

Man held without bail after New Year’s shooting that killed two

Associated Press Writer
Glenwood Springs CO Colorado

DENVER (AP) ” A man suspected of firing a single bullet into a home that killed two people early on New Year’s Day was held without bail Wednesday after a brief court hearing.

Pedro Cortez, 25, was arrested hours after the shooting on two counts of first-degree murder, police said. Cortez said nothing in court but mouthed “I love you” to family members.

Police said they believe Cortez fired a shot at about 12:20 a.m. Tuesday from up to 300 yards away that punctured the front wall of a west Denver home and killed an 11-year-old girl and a woman. They said the bullet passed through the seated woman’s head and struck the girl in the side.

Investigators said earlier the bullet may have been fired by someone celebrating New Year’s. After Cortez’s arrest, police spokesman Sonny Jackson said he couldn’t comment on a motive.

Cortez’s attorney, Harvey Steinberg, told the judge the only evidence against Cortez was a statement given to police, but he did not say by whom. The judge agreed to hold a hearing to consider setting bail but did not set a date.

Family member Norma Kaholo identified the girl as her niece, Angelica Martinez, and the woman as Kaholo’s cousin, Rebecca Yanez. She said they were at a small family gathering at the time.

Kaholo said the shooting cannot be excused even if it was accidental.

“When you shoot, the bullet has to go somewhere,” she said.

Police Chief Gerry Whitman said investigators believe the weapon was a high-powered rifle. He said investigators used lasers to trace the trajectory of the shot and to determine that one bullet killed both victims.

Whitman said it was apparently fired across a greenway flanking a walking trail.

“It might have been an accident, which still would be illegal if someone was firing a weapon recklessly in the city,” Whitman said.

Jackson said the police work that led to Cortez’s arrest was “amazing.”

“They pull some stuff off, I tell you. I’m surprised that hours later they got an arrest,” he said.

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