Commerce City man accused of killing parafencer in hit-and-run arrested in Lakewood

Lakewood fatal auto-ped Kipling St and W. 23rd Ave
Posted at 2:29 PM, Feb 28, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-28 19:47:53-05

LAKEWOOD, Colo. — A man accused of killing a pedestrian in a hit-and-run last week has been arrested in Lakewood, police said Wednesday.

Jimmy Lee Chavez, 40, of Commerce City, is suspected in the deadly hit-and-run that occurred Feb. 23 near the intersection of Kipling Street and West 23rd Avenue.

A Medina Alert was issued for Chavez and his vehicle, a Chevy Camaro with Colorado license plate DWB-P87, following the deadly crash.

lakewood hit-and-run_feb 23 2024.jpg

It wasn’t only Tuesday that Lakewood police agents were able to track down the suspect to a home in Commerce City, where he was arrested and taken to jail.

The Camaro, which sustained heavy front-end damage as well as damage to the windshield, has not been found. Police said it is also missing the driver’s side headlight.

Additionally, police said in a news release Wednesday that the license plate of the suspect vehicle may have been removed.

If anyone has any information about the vehicle, they are asked to call the Lakewood Police Department at 303-980-7300 and to ask for Detective Moffat.

Court records show Chavez has had run-ins with law enforcement in Colorado since 1999. At the time, he was arrested for driving under the influence of drugs. Other charges over the years include first-degree criminal trespass, felony theft, contempt of court, shoplifting, disorderly conduct, possession of drug paraphernalia, second-degree kidnapping, third-degree assault, carrying a concealed weapon, among others.

"He was always willing to share anything he had"

The victim, 29-year-old Terre Engdahl, of Lakewood, was a parafencer and competed with the Denver Fencing Center where he won several awards.

"Even though he's gone, I have a smile on my face, because you can't help it when you think about every time he walked in the door," said Jataya Taylor, a friend of Engdahl's and fellow parafencer, over the weekend.

Taylor and Engdahl met a year and a half ago when Taylor began training as a wheelchair fencer. A Marine veteran, Taylor lost her leg in a training accident.

After meeting Engdahl on her first day at the center, Taylor said he freely shared with her his fencing wheelchair.

"Our chairs are a part of our personality and we get protective over our adaptive equipment," said Taylor. "But Terre's like, ‘No, you sit in it, you fence!' He was always willing to share anything he had.”

With the upcoming para-nationals and Paralympic trials, Taylor said the team is now focused on honoring Engdahl's memory.

Commerce City man accused of killing parafencer in hit-and-run arrested in Lakewood

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