GREELEY, Colo. — A 16-year-old accused of murdering his 15-year-old ex-girlfriend at her Greeley home has been charged as an adult.
Jovanni Sirio-Cardona, 16, was charged with murder in the first degree — after deliberation, murder in the second degree — felony murder, first-degree burglary, aggravated burglary and possession of a handgun by a juvenile, the Nineteenth Judicial District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday. Those charges were filed with the Weld County District Court.
Officers with the Greeley Police Department were called out to a report of a shooting in the 400 block of North 35th Ave. around 3:44 p.m. on June 16.
"We had heard all the gunshots and we ran to the back of our house, which is where our room is to hide and my husband came out he's like, I don't know what's going on," said Dolores Windmeier, a neighbor who lives a few doors, "Just huge popping noise. You know, how you kind of hear the fireworks and they kind of echo? These didn't, they just popped, they were loud. There were so many at once, I don't know if you would stop to count, but there was just so many."
According to court documents, the woman who called 911 reported that her 13-year-old neighbor said his sister, 15-year-old Lily Silva-Lopez, had been shot. The woman said she heard gunshots and that there was "obvious damage" to a bedroom window screen.
The 13-year-old boy told his neighbor that his sister's ex-boyfriend, Sirio-Cardona, had broken into the home and shot his sister, the document states.
Authorities arrived and found Silva-Lopez in a bedroom suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Juvenile arrested in connection with homicide in Greeley
Investigators learned that Sirio-Cardona approached the home unannounced and forced his way into Silva-Lopez's bedroom through the window. The 13-year-old boy told a Greeley detective he was watching "South Park" when he heard someone shoot in the air and then shoot a window, according to court documents.
Silva-Lopez reportedly yelled for her brother to run. The boy went to his room, held the door shut and dialed 911, but the call would not connect, court documents state.
Sirio-Cardona made his way into the home and allegedly shot Silva-Lopez in the hallway outside of her room several times.
According to court documents, the boy heard the shots and looked into the hallway, where he saw his sister on the ground and Sirio-Cardona standing over her. The boy also saw blood dripping from the bridge of Sirio-Cardona's nose, the arrest affidavit states.
Sirio-Cardona was reportedly wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark pants. He was also holding a black gun that had a green scope on it, according to court documents.
The affidavit states that the boy begged Sirio-Cardona to not shoot him. According to court documents, Sirio-Cardona told the boy he would not shoot him but demanded that the boy hand over his cellphone so he couldn't call authorities. He also reportedly asked the boy to help move his sister "as he struggled to deal with how badly she had been hurt."
Sirio-Cardona allegedly pulled Silva-Lopez's body back into her bedroom before taking off with the boy's phone.
The boy told authorities that Sirio-Cardona had been wanting to "come to my sister" and had been seen walking outside the home, the affidavit states. He was reportedly there two or three days before the shooting and was caught on camera walking around the home, according to the court documents.
According to the victim's mother, Silva-Lopez and Sirio-Cardona dated for roughly six months.
Four weeks before the shooting, Silva-Lopez tried ending the relationship. Court documents state that Sirio-Cardona responded by putting the barrel of a gun in Silva-Lopez's mouth. Sirio-Cardona allegedly told the victim "she wasn't going to break up with him and she needed to tell him she loved him." Silva-Lopez told her cousin about the incident, who then told Silva-Lopez's mom.
A Greeley police officer responded to the home for a domestic violence complaint six days before the shooting. The 15-year-old reported that Sirio-Cardona had punched her in the face and hurt her arm.
The day of the shooting, authorities contacted a friend of Sirio-Cardona, who reported that Sirio-Cardona had picked him up from his home in the 2000 block of 1st Street. According to court documents, home surveillance cameras show the friend was picked up at 3:52 p.m. — just after the shooting. The friend told a Greeley detective that Sirio-Cardona's nose was bleeding.
The two reportedly drove to the Franklin Flats Apartments, located at 3208 W 7th Street, and then drove to Sirio-Cardona's home.
Court documents state Sirio-Cardona showered and changed clothes. He also took the braids out of his hair, according to the document.
When officers arrived at Sirio-Cardona's home, his grandmother asked why they were there. According to his arrest affidavit, Sirio-Cardona "replied by saying he did what he had to do and he shot someone."
Sirio-Cardona's bond was set at $2,000,000. He is scheduled for a status conference at 8:30 a.m. on August 3.
According to her obituary, Silva-Lopez had just completed her sophomore year of high school and would have turned 16 on June 21. She is described as a "loving and caring friend with lots of spice."
Denver7 spoke to the Youth Engagement Manager at Project PAVE, an organization that helps teens form healthy relationships.
"A huge red flag is trying to isolate you. Trying to get you to remove yourself from all of your sports groups, from all of your other activities that you may be involved in, and your friend groups as well," said Andrew Trader-Bankston.
The organization offers a modern day conversation-based course on how to learn the warning signs of abuse and promotes help-seeking by survivors and perpetrators.