LAKEWOOD, Colo. — The defendant accused of shooting and killing a man who was soliciting along an off-ramp for W. 6th Avenue has pleaded not guilty to the murder charge.
Randy Alan Jiron, 41, of Aurora, was arrested on June 21 and was held at the Jefferson County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder. He was formally charged with first-degree murder after deliberation in Jefferson County court on June 29.
He pleaded not guilty on Thursday afternoon.
According to an arrest affidavit for Jiron, officers with Lakewood Police Department responded to a report of a man with a gunshot wound near the off-ramp for westbound W. 6th Avenue to Simms Avenue around 7:30 p.m. on June 20.
When police arrived, they saw West Metro Fire paramedics loading a man into an ambulance. The man was later identified as 52-year-old Craig Joseph Bruce. He had been shot one time in the torso.
Police spoke with witnesses who described seeing an old, rusty red Jeep pull up next to the suspect and open fire before speeding away. Several of the witnesses told police they left their cars to help Bruce.
Police were able to briefly speak with him at the hospital before surgery. Bruce said he didn't know who shot him or why.
Over the course of two hours, about 20 medical staff worked to save his life. But doctors said they were unable to repair the damage. They were able to keep him alive long enough to say goodbye to family, according to the affidavit.
During the police department's investigation, officers gathered surveillance footage that showed the shooting and details about the suspect's vehicle. Police only saw one person — the driver — in the car. They also gathered cell phone location data.
The day after the shooting, police in Parker called the Lakewood Police Department to report they had seen the red Jeep. They were able to determine the car was registered to Jiron using the car's temporary license plate.
Authorities investigated suspect's threats months before fatal Lakewood shooting
Jiron was known to authorities — on Feb. 2, an Aurora officer reported that Jiron tends to be "very volatile and angers easily. Reports mention suicide by cop. There is concern that if police show up at his residence, it will trigger a hostile response," Jiron's arrest affidavit reads. The officer reached out to Jiron after the FBI reported that he was calling them constantly "about hearing voices, having hallucinations, sex slaves, and his cheating ex-girlfriend. Something that was mentioned was someone planning a murder and staging a suicide," the affidavit reads.
About two weeks later, on Feb. 19, the FBI requested that Aurora police contact Jiron after he had allegedly contacted the FBI National Threat Operation Center multiple times the day before with disjointed statements like "Disgusts me, this type of harassment is the cause of mass shootings in this country," "If I want as sane as I am, while the world around me always as if I have a mental illness, I would have already taken the lives of many people," and "They're left to do, but go down a list of people I hear, and take out as many as I can," according to the affidavit.
With this information, Lakewood police went undercover and found the suspect's red Jeep on Pine Bluffs Way in Parker. They followed him about 40 miles to Wagner Street in Strasburg, where he entered a garage. Investigators looked up the address and connected it to a Facebook friend of Jiron's.
Lakewood police and the Adams County SWAT team responded to the home and after Jiron surrendered, he was taken into custody.
In court Thursday, both parties agreed for Jiron's trial to begin on June 4, 2024.