What began as a late-night vape sale in a quiet Centennial neighborhood ended in a star high school rugby player being shot and killed outside his house.
The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office has charged four teens with first-degree murder and aggravated robbery in connection with, what Arapahoe County sheriff’s deputies say, was a botched robbery attempt that left 18-year-old Lloyd Chavez IV dead. All four have been charged as adults.
Juliana Serrano, one of the teens charged in connection with the shooting death, told police that she and three others — Kenneth Gallegos, Dominic Stager and Demarea Mitchell — went to Chavez’s house with the intention to rob him of vape juice, according to Gallegos’ arrest affidavit. There was an exchange of money before Chavez and Mitchell got into an altercation on the lawn, according to Serrano’s account in the affidavit. At some point during the fight, Chavez was shot in the chest.
As Chavez was about to go into surgery, police asked who shot him. “Kenny,” he said, according to the affidavit. Chavez died during surgery, the sheriff’s office said.
Serrano gave multiple accounts of the night to police, but denied that Gallegos was the one who shot Chavez. The illegal vape sale was coordinated on Snapchat, the arrest affidavit said. People must be 18 or older to buy vaping supplies in Colorado.
Gallegos was arrested on Friday in connection with the shooting and appeared Wednesday in Arapahoe County Court. He will be back in court May 20 for a status conference. The other three co-defendants appeared in court Thursday.
Chavez was lauded by his rugby coach last week as a “spectacular” all-state player with an infectious personality. The senior was set to graduate high school in two weeks.
A celebration of life for Chavez will be held at 4 p.m., May 18 at Cook Park, 7100 Cherry Creek Drive, Denver.
The homicide marks the fourth fatal shooting of teens in the southeastern Aurora suburbs this year.