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Wheat Ridge police recommend murder charges in death of antique shop owner

Peter Damian.jpeg
Posted at 7:19 PM, Jan 18, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 17:42:13-04

WHEAT RIDGE, Colo. — The Wheat Ridge Police Department has recommended murder charges in the November 2023 death of an antique shop owner.

Peter Damian Arguello was shot and killed inside his shop, Peter Damian Fine Jewelry & Antiques, during a robbery on the morning of November 29, 2023.

Surveillance video shows a suspect pulling a gun on Arguello and attempting to handcuff him, according to court documents. Arguello resisted and the suspect shot him three times.

Investigators found three zip-tie handcuffs looped together with a Latex glove in front of a safe where silver coins were stolen. DNA from the flex cuffs matched that of 41-year-old Charles Robinson Shay, according to the affidavit.

Peter Damian, Courtesy Neighborhood Gazette

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Officers found the suspect vehicle on Dec. 1 in Centennial. Wheat Ridge police said the truck was set on fire and heavily damaged. In the back seat, investigators found two partially burned hats that matched the ones the suspects were wearing in surveillance videos, according to the affidavit.

After reviewing street cameras in the area of the burned-out vehicle, investigators noticed another truck following it. That truck belonged to a man who was dead, but investigators learned the owner and a relative were Facebook friends with Shay, the affidavit states. The truck — which was reported stolen to the Littleton Police Department on Dec. 4 — was found at Shay's house.

The affidavit states investigators placed a GPS locator on the truck. The locator tracked the truck to the antique store on Dec. 24 and Dec. 26, according to court documents.

The store's security alarm was triggered on Dec. 26 and the safes were opened, according to the affidavit. Court documents state the safes were empty and unlocked before the Dec. 26 burglary.

According to the affidavit, Shay admitted to prying open a door to the business on Dec. 26 but said he didn’t take anything because there wasn’t anything to take.

Peter Damian, Courtesy Neighborhood Gazette

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4:24 PM, Nov 30, 2023

Wheat Ridge police on Thursday recommended charges of murder in the first degree, murder in the second degree (knowingly causing the death of a person) and murder in the second degree (death during the commission of a felony) against Shay. The First Judicial District Attorney's Office will make the final decision regarding charges.

“We want to thank the community for their patience and understanding during this complicated criminal investigation,” said Wheat Ridge Police Chief Chris Murtha. “I’m proud of the dedication of our patrol officers and our entire Investigation Bureau in handling this case. We have passionate people in this department who are committed to keeping the community safe. We’ll continue the hard work to hold every involved party accountable and inform the public of further details when they become available.”

Shay has been in custody at the Jefferson County Detention Facility since Dec. 27 on charges related to the Dec. 26 burglary.

Wheat Ridge PD said the investigation remains ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call the department's tip line at 303-235-2903.

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