Road rage in Aurora escalates to shooting, leaving 1 man dead, 1 accused of first-degree murder

Posted at 11:18 AM, Nov 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-23 15:10:41-05

AURORA, Colo. — A road rage incident involving two men who drove through multiple red lights in Aurora on Nov. 16 ended in a shooting, leaving one of them dead.

Nineteen-year-old Romeo Thompson was arrested in connection to the shooting, according to the Aurora Police Department.

An affidavit for Thompson’s warrantless detention provided new details on the incident.

At 11:39 a.m. on Nov. 16, officers with the Aurora Police Department were dispatched to the intersection of E. Brown Drive and E. Yale Avenue on a report of a shooting.
When police arrived, they found a man lying on the street with a woman kneeling over him, applying presser to his right side, according to the affidavit.

The man was later identified as Phillip Hunt, 54, and the woman was identified as his wife, 53.

Police took over putting pressure on Hunt’s side and saw he was having trouble breathing and blood was coming out of his mouth. When paramedics arrived, they found gunshot wounds to Hunt’s abdomen and chest, according to the affidavit.

Around this time, it appeared that Hunt had stopped breathing and he was transported to a hospital, where he was pronounced deceased.

Police interviewed Hunt’s wife, who had witnessed the shooting. She explained they had been driving in their black Jeep Grand Cherokee and stopped at a red light, facing eastbound on E. Iliff Avenue and S. Chambers Road. Hunt was behind the wheel and his wife was in the front passenger seat, she said.

The light turned green and a driver in a Jeep Cherokee behind them honked. This driver was later identified as Romeo Desean Thompson, 19. A woman was in the car with him in the passenger seat, according to the affidavit.

Hunt’s wife said Hunt became irritated that the driver had honked at him and slowly accelerated eastbound. Thompson aggressively began to speed around the right of Hunt’s car and threw what police believe was a Gatorade bottle at Hunt’s car, which made a loud sound when it hit the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

Hunt pulled behind Thompson and started following it at a high rate of speed. Thompson began driving erratically and went through several red lights to get away from Phillip, who continued to follow him.

Thompson pulled over around E. Brown Drive and E. Yale Avenue and Hunt followed, positioning his car in front of Thompson’s, according to the affidavit.

Both men left their cars and started to argue. The female passenger in the car with Thompson approached Hunt’s wife, who was still in the passenger seat, according to the affidavit.

Hunt’s wife then saw Thompson hit Hunt with a black handgun and heard two or three gunshots, according to the affidavit. In a follow-up interview, she said she saw Thompson shoot Hunt twice.

She described the gun as a black handgun with a long barrel and something red on the barrel.

Hunt’s wife said she got into the driver’s seat and turned the car around, and Thompson and the female passenger got back into their vehicle and left, heading southbound on E. Brown Drive, according to the affidavit.

When interviewed, Hunt’s wife described Thompson as a Black male in his mid-20s. He had been wearing a red hooded sweatshirt at the time, according to the affidavit. She also described his passenger to police.

A Nest camera nearby captured the incident, but the quality wasn’t good enough to identify any people or a gun.

Hunt’s wife captured pictures of Thompson’s car as it left the scene and provided the photos to police. One of the pictures showed the car’s license plate and police were able to locate its associated address, which was located in a neighborhood around E. Mississippi Avenue and S. Buckley Road. The photos also showed Thompson and the woman inside the Jeep, according to the affidavit.

Aurora officers then went to the address associated with the license plate and saw the Jeep in the driveway, according to the affidavit. The woman was outside the residence and was handcuffed. Police learned she was supposed to meet with the shooting suspect at a Circle K at E. Alameda Avenue and S. Buckley Road, according to the affidavit.

As officers drove to the Circle K, they learned the suspect’s name and were able to find a mugshot of him from the Aurora Police Information Management System. An officer located a man who appeared to match the mugshot as he walked out of the Circle K. He was placed in handcuffs while being held at gunpoint, according to the affidavit.

When asked, Thompson told police he had a gun on him. Police seized the gun, which had red tape on the handle, according to the affidavit.

Both Thompson and the female passenger were brought to police headquarters, where they were interviewed.

The woman said she heard four gunshots while the two men were fighting, but did not see Thompson shoot Hunt, or saw him with a gun. However, she said she knew he had one. After Thompson drove away from the scene with her, he got out of the car and walked away on foot. He later called her and instructed her to pick him up, according to the affidavit.

In an interview with police, Thompson said both men got out of the car at E. Brown Drive and E. Yale Avenue and that Hunt approached him and pushed him against the side of his car. Thompson said Hunt was bigger than he was. He said they struggled and Hunt threw him to the ground, but he held his grip and pulled Hunt to the ground with him. Both men started up, holding each other in a crouched position, Thompson said, according to the affidavit.

Thompson said he was able to access his gun with his left hand and shot Hunt one time. When Hunt fell to the ground, Thompson said he shot him again. Thompson’s phone fell at some point and Hunt picked it up while he was on the ground. Thompson said he demanded his phone and shot Hunt again.

At the interview, detectives noticed Thompson had a small abrasion on his left hand near his far-left knuckle, a small abrasion on his left elbow and a small bruise on his right shoulder. He had a small abrasion on his lower left stomach area as well, according to the affidavit.

Thompson was arrested on Nov. 16 on charges of first-degree murder and possession of weapons by a previous offender