AURORA, Colo. — The family of an Aurora teen who was fatally shot while attempting to break into a vehicle said their son did not deserve a death sentence.
Xavier Kirk, 14, and a friend were trying to break into a Hyundai Elantra around 11:20 p.m. on July 6 near the intersection of E. 59th Place and Flanders St. Residents in the area heard a car alarm sound and spotted the two teens, who were dressed in all black clothing, according to the Aurora Police Department.
"It's been very difficult because my son was only 14 and he had his whole life ahead of him," said Leslie Kirk, Xavier's mother. "This traumatic situation, it made me really lost and confused and very devastated."
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The owner of the vehicle, Orest Schur, 27, confronted the teens, who sped away in a suspected stolen vehicle, according to Aurora police. Schur chased after them in his Elantra until the teens crashed into a fence a short distance away on East 58th Circle near E. 58th Ave.
Leslie said her son tried to run away after the crash but was shot in the head and back. Xavier collapsed onto a yard and was pronounced dead, according to teen's mother.
"I feel like [Schur] could have called the cops and put it in their hands instead of him putting in his hands. Because at the end of the day, he chased my son and his friend down and shot and killed my son. My son was just a kid," she said.
Xavier's mother said her son had dreams to become an NFL player and was set to start football camp a few days later.
"This incident that happened was not my son at all. It is shocking to me, you know, because I didn't, I never thought I was going to lose my son to something so senseless like this," said Leslie.
The second teen involved was also shot in the back but survived.
Schur was charged with first-degree murder and attempted first-degree murder. He posted a $500,000 cash bond in August.
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Should first-degree murder suspects have a right to bond in Colorado?
First-degree murder was historically a capital offense in Colorado and traditionally came with a hefty punishment — potentially the death penalty. But in 2020, the Colorado state legislature repealed the state's death penalty.
On June 20, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that because the state abolished the death penalty, first-degree murder suspects charged after July 1, 2020, have a right to bail.
"I'm really angry at that because if someone kills somebody, they shouldn't even be out at all. They should be sitting behind bars," said Leslie.
Despite the criticism they've received, the Kirk family said they'll continue to honor Xavier's memory and fight for justice.
"People were sitting there saying, 'Where was the parents at? Why do they let the delinquents hang out together?' And just, they were shaming me," said Leslie. "And I just felt like, 'Well, how can you shame somebody that you don't even know?' Anybody can say whatever they want to say. And they can say what they want to say about my son. But in reality, they don't know who my son was."
Schur is scheduled to appear in court for a preliminary hearing on October 19.