A man who shot and killed another man with an AR-15 after suspecting his car was being stolen was charged Thursday with first-degree murder, according to the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Brice Fitch, 24
Denver Police Department
Brice Fitch

Brice Fitch, 24, was arrested on Saturday after police found a man dead in a vehicle and tied it to the earlier incident.

Police responded to a call of shots fired and attempted motor vehicle theft at 4:10 a.m., April 19, according to an arrest affidavit.

Fitch told detectives he was letting his dogs out at 4 a.m. in the backyard of a home in the 300 block of South Jasmine Street when he heard some noise, and then saw his car door open and the lights turned on, the affidavit stated.

He saw two people in his vehicle and confronted them. Then he went back inside his home, got his AR-15 and told someone to call police, the affidavit stated.

The two people were driving away but not in Fitch’s car. The driver’s side door was open, and Fitch said he fell. That’s when the AR-15 accidentally went off, Fitch told detectives, according to the affidavit.

“The victim believed that he had his finger on the trigger and the weapon accidentally went off,” the affidavit stated.

Fitch allegedly shot two more times at the rear of the vehicle after it had stopped mid-block because he thought the pair was coming back to harm him, the affidavit stated.

He was transported to a hospital for minor injuries, and detectives collected three spent cartridges as well as a .223 AR-15 semiautomatic rifle.

Later that day, Aurora police were called for a welfare check where they found a man dead from a gunshot wound inside a car. The vehicle matched the one from the earlier Denver shooting and the rear window had been shot out, according to the affidavit.

Fitch was arrested the following day.

The woman who was with the man during the alleged vehicle theft is not currently facing any charges, according to the district attorney’s office.

The Denver coroner’s office has not identified the dead man.