Suspect in Edgewater Tesla charging station shooting from May appears in court Wednesday

Witnesses describe what they saw during the shooting at the Edgewater Tesla charging station in newly released police affidavit
Edgewater Tesla charging station shooting 5-3-23
Posted at 12:16 PM, Dec 13, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-13 19:18:37-05

EDGEWATER, Colo. — The suspect accused of shooting and killing a man at a Tesla charging station in Edgewater earlier this year appeared in court Wednesday, as new details about what led to the deadly shooting were unsealed in the case.

"Get the [expletive] out of the car!"

Those were the words one witness said he heard screamed multiple times before Jeremy Smith allegedly shot and killed Adam Fresquez outside the Edgewater Public Market the morning of May 3, 2023, according to a newly released arrest affidavit.

A witness who was sitting on a patio outside near the parking lot the day of the shooting said he heard a loud argument and saw a man — later identified as Fresquez — yelling and slapping at a red Tesla's windows, the witness told Edgewater police. The witness did not see anything in Fresquez's hands standing outside the Tesla, according to the witness account in Jeremy Smith's arrest affidavit.

The first witness felt Fresquez was "antagonizing (Smith) to fight," the affidavit read, and the witness said he never saw Smith get out.

Another witness told police he saw Smith pull a gun and in a matter of seconds, he heard two gun shots and saw the red Tesla drive away. Frequez seemed to have a gun also, the witness told police, but he did not see him pull the gun out, according to the affidavit.

Smith was arrested at his Denver home Tuesday and booked into the Jefferson County Jail on charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter.

He made his first court appearance Wednesday, where the victim's family asked for a $1 million cash bond. Charges have not yet been filed, but a judge set Smith's bond at $300,000. His next court date, a filing of charges appearance, is set for Dec. 19 at 10 a.m.

Arresting documents show the fatal shooting stemmed from a road rage incident, according to a statement Smith gave Edgewater police.

"He was brake checking me... and I pulled ahead of him at one light, and he got ahead of me and was stopping in front of me," Smith's arrest affidavit quotes from his 911 call.

Smith called police about the shooting just before 9:45 a.m. on May 3, according to his arrest affidavit from Edgewater police. He told dispatch he maced and shot someone after they "pulled a gun" on him.

Dispatch told police a shooting happened at the Tesla supercharger station in the parking lot of Shake Shack, the affidavit read.

When Edgewater police arrived, one officer said he saw a man on the ground near the electric car charging stations, later identified as Fresquez, who was treated at the scene by first responders from the West Metro Fire Protection District (WMFD). There, they found a handgun inside Fresquez's clothes, according to the affidavit.

WMFD took Frequez to Denver Health Hospital, but he was pronounced dead a short time later.

A forensic pathologist with the Jefferson County Coroner's Office would later note in an autopsy report that Fresquez had a gunshot wound to his right upper back and a gunshot injury to his right lower back, the affidavit said. It also revealed Fresquez had trace amounts of cocaine and fentanyl in his system.

After the shooting, investigators collected swabs of Fresquez and Smith's guns, swabs from Fresquez's face and clothing, and another Tesla on the scene, to test for the presence of pepper spray. They also tested the contents from a canister of Sabre Red Maximum Strength Pepper Gel found at the scene. All the evidence tested positive for the active ingredients in pepper spray (or gel), the affidavit said.

Smith told dispatch he "got out of the area" after the shooting and was at his apartment in Denver, the affidavit said. The gun was still in his red Tesla 3, parked in the complex parking lot. Law enforcement came and took him into custody.

The suspect's mother later got a text from her son that said, "I had to shoot someone in self-defense," according to the affidavit, after he and another man were "bickering" back and forth and "flipping each other off" as well as "brake checking" each other, the affidavit states, adding that Smith told his mother Fresquez pulled a gun on him and he tried to de-escalate the situation.

Smith was then processed through the police department and released from custody, according to the affidavit.

“It’s infuriating because that’s unheard of,” Adam’s sister, Crystal Fresquez, said Tuesday. “When do you hear of someone committing a crime just like he’s done — macing and shooting my brother, not once, but twice in the back, fleeing the scene, calling 911 30 to 45 minutes later and not being arrested?”

In a statement, Edgewater Police Chief Eric Sonstegard said the department's priority was to "present a thorough and complete investigation."

“Our priority from the beginning of the case was to present a thorough and complete investigation. I recognize the tremendous toll that the long wait has taken on Adam’s family. I am thankful to District Attorney King and her staff for their tremendous teamwork throughout this investigation and that they will be moving forward with a criminal prosecution," Sonstegard said.

DA King also released a statement, saying criminal charges were filed "after a careful legal analysis and considering all available evidence."

“I appreciate all the hard work that the Edgewater Police Department and my investigative team have dedicated to the investigation of what occurred on the morning of May 3, 2023. After a careful legal analysis and considering all available evidence, we have decided that criminal charges must be filed, and we will now proceed with a criminal prosecution," King said.

Man arrested seven months after deadly shooting at Tesla charging station in Edgewater

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