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Aurora, co. Police say man shot as part of drug probe

  1. Mick Mouse
    The man who was shot be police Thursday night in Aurora, CO. may have discovered he was under surveillance just before he was killed in front of his mother's home.

    Sgt. Cassidee Carlson, Aurora police spokesperson, said that Richard Arreola, age 25, was being investigated for allegedly selling drugs out of a phone shop that he owned.

    Officers were planning on executing warrants on Friday, but were keeping an eye on Arreola in the meantime.

    When Arreola arrived at 1429 Macon Street, an undercover officer watching the house said over the radio that his cover had been blown, and indicated that Arreola had a gun.

    The undercover officer fired at Arreola multiple times through his car windshield just after 6:30 PM.

    Arreola did not open fire, but the police officer said that he was "walking with purpose."

    Arreola was pronounced dead at the scene and was found with a revolver in his right hand and a rifle just a few steps away.

    Carlson said that the investigation began when seven students from South Middle School in Aurora were caught late last week using or dealing methamphetamine after two of the students were hospitalized.

    "The Narcotics Unit jumped on it because it did involve middle school students," Carlson said. "Arreola quickly became a suspect."

    Carlson said that police had made a successful undercover purchase of marijuana at Arreola's business and on Thursday had gone to a judge to obtain a search warrant in the case.

    The warrant was executed Friday afternoon at Arreola's business, Neviah Wireless on Peoria Street in Aurora. Police seized one pound of marijuana and two guns.

    Friday afternoon, friends and neighbors gathered around the spot on the sidewalk where Arreola was shot, staring in disbelief at the snow spackled with blood.

    Arrolea's family said that Arreola had just arrived at his mothers home to pick up his 3 year old daughter.

    Ruben Montano, Arreola's younger brother, said he knew something was wrong when he heard seven gunshots.

    "I went to find him," Montano said. "Then I saw my brother shot for no reason."

    The name of the officer has not been released. Following protocol, the officer was placed on administrative leave, with pay, pending an internal review.

    police say that it is possible other people are involved in the drug incident involving the students, but the investigation is still on-going.

    Colorado Bureau of Investigation records show that in addition to several traffic offenses in Denver in 2008, Arreola was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana. Arreola also served 18 days in jail and a year of probation for a gambling offense in 2007 out of Gilpin county.

    In 2004 Arreola was named a Senior Youth Honoree at the annual Boys and Girls Clubs of Metro Denver Youth of the Year event. Honorees are selected on the basis of efforts in leadership, academic achievement, community service, and overcoming obstacles.

    By Jordan Steffen
    and Yesenia Robles
    The Denver Post



  1. 80sbaby
    WOW. What a horrible thing. Sounds like the cop planted a rifle next to the man too.
    Supposedly, OK "He's Walking with Purpose" the cops says.

    Well, if this is the case, then i guess its OK to kill people based upon the fact that you believe they are going to kill you???? and its OK to take preemptive measures and kill them based upon your perception??

    I hope this cops gets charged with a crime and fired. He blew his cover, and then kills the suspect. Good lord.

    1 other thing: I'm pretty sure it's safe to say he will never work undercover again. more like writing tickets.
  2. ianzombie
    Shot to death over a small amount of Cannabis.
  3. godztear
    Who the hell walks around with a revolver AND a rifle when going to pick up their 3 year old daughter? This story has fatal corruption written all over. Did some researching and every story is just about the same so no need to post more of the same. It would be nice for some more info on this case if anyone has the resources.

    And then the officer is on paid leave? You just killed a guy over a pound of marijuana, here is your paycheck, go home to your family.
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    And you base this on what evidence exactly?

    A couple of pics from the news story on this:

    One normally does not fire their gun through the windshield of their vehicle, which would seem to corroborate the cops story that he felt imminent danger.
    Did the cop overreact? Quite possibly. But put yourself in the cops place- inside a car with a man coming at you with a rifle and a handgun...such thigs can do weird things to your thought process.

    As to the other comment regarding him being on paid leave - it is pretty standard procedure in a wide number of industries for one to be put on paid leave until the facts are sorted out (which can take months). And really- as it should be. If one is found not at fault suspension w/o pay would amount to having been punished.

    A victim of the drug war certainly, but the picture of what actually happened is fuzzy.
  5. Terrapinzflyer
    doing some digging turns up this article which makes it clear (from the shot mans brother who was there) that the rifle was not planted by police and was indeed being carried by the man who was shot:

    Narc kills Denver man

    Richard Arreola was a former Boys & Girls club "Youth of the Year", small business owner, and father of a three-year-old.

    He was killed Thursday night by an undercover narcotics officer in a one-sided shootout on 14th and Macon.

    As preliminary details trickle out of the Aurora PD, witnesses, and family members, a tragic chain of events starts to take shape.

    Mr. Arreola had been under investigation for weeks by undercover drug warriors after some South Middle School students caught selling meth allegedly had named his store as the place they scored the dangerous bootlegged substance that sent a few of their classmates to the hospital.

    The undercover narcs then allegedly bought some marijuana from Arreola at his business, Neviah Wireless, located near 14th and Peoria when he allegedly indicated he could sell them methamphetamine.

    Richard's brother, Reuben Montano, said "They're liars. My brother would never do that, especially to little kids."

    Though Richard will never have the chance to defend himself in the court of law, the story will be ultimately told by the police department that killed him. And his daughter will grow-up wondering why her father had to die.

    Another tragic casualty of the failed and misguided "Drug War".

    Police executed a search warrant at his place of business and allegedly found a pound of marijuana and two guns while seemingly under surveillance simultaneously.

    But whether Richard left the apartment Friday afternoon with a rifle and a revolver intent on retaliating against a sniffed-out narc or simply someone harrassing him, he apparently felt his life was in danger. And again, by killing Arreola the "authorities" have taken away his right to defend himself against his accusers.

    Montano said "He saw something that put his life in threat so he went over there with his gun, as soon as I came out, walked down the stairs, I hear like six gun shots. I ran to the front and I saw my brother lying down out there on the curb."

    One of the plain-clothes agents apparently radioed that he had "been made" and that Arreola "had a gun". He then proceeded to shoot through the windshield of his un-marked car into Arreola at relatively close range. Arreola had fired no shots, but was described as "walking with purpose" by "authorities" on scene.

    Aurora Police Department released the photo (top) of the two guns allegedly found at the scene, and showing the bullet holes in the windshield of the unmarked cruiser.

    Neighbors gathered around the bloodied snow in disbelief that this had happened on their block. The seventh U.S. "Drug War" related death this year. And a needless slaying.

    The name of the officer firing the deadly shots hasn't been released. The officer was put on "administrative leave" pending an investigation. An investigation conducted by the same "authorities" that authorized and implemented the surveillance of Arreola, not by independent review nor a "jury of peers".

    And even if/when the "internal review" (comprised of a board of police members) decides the killing was justified in the moment, does that then justify the possible entrapment, surveillance, or harrassment of Richard Arreola? Is it then assumed that the events/provokations leading up to the incident were justified "beyond a reasonable doubt"?

    These questions will not be answered objectively by anyone inside "the system", those questions can only be righteously judged by citzens within a court of law and Richard will never be able to confront his accusers.

    February 12, 2011
  6. Mick Mouse
    Nice pictures. For some reason, no pictures come up on any article when I look through my on-line version of the Denver Post. Thank you for fleshing out the story!

    I personally found it to be a bit odd that the cop fired 7 rounds through the windshield of his vehicle. I would ask what happened to make him think his cover was blown? Was it Arreola walking towards him with weapons? Why did he not get out of the vehicle, take cover, then (if necessary) fire his weapon? One would think that the cop saw him in plenty of time. One would also have to be there to truly know what happened, however.

    I feel sadness for Arreola's 3 year old daughter, she had to have seen or heard this tragedy.
  7. Motorhead
    If we look closely at the photos we can only discern three distinct bullet holes. If we assume that seven shots were fired-notice in the second article Montano says, "I heard like six gun shots"-that means the officer fired three times, got out of his vehicle, then fired more rounds.

    It all does sound fishy, and no, we probably will never know the truth about this unfortunate incident.
  8. 80sbaby
    Were are the Crime Cameras when you need one?
  9. Mick Mouse
    I meant to say several, not seven. That is my mistake.
  10. Motorhead
    No mistake on your part, I was just pointing out that Montano's math regarding the same incident is inconsistent. Autopsy report will tell us how many bullets the victim sustained.
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