DENVER – Police in Denver say the man accused of intentionally running over and killing a pedestrian near 40th and Havana Tuesday was on a mission to kill at least three people.
Police arrested Eric Ukuni, 26, after customers from a nearby 7-Eleven subdued him as the suspect allegedly tried to flee the fatal hit-and-run crash by carjacking the customers’ truck.
The man killed in the crash was identified Wednesday as Ernest Gurrini, 66. Co-workers say he was a deliveryman for OnTrac Shipping.
Witnesses told police that Ukuni, driving a stolen pickup truck, appeared to intentionally slam into the back of another driver’s carjust west of Havana, and then blow through the intersection, striking and killing Gurrini who was trying to enter his work van.
According to a probable cause statement, the suspect forcefully stole the truck used in the fatal hit-and-run from a father and daughter who were pulling out of a Commerce City parking lot just moments before the Denver incident.
The police report states that Ukuni held a screwdriver to the neck of the truck's driver and threatened to kill him. Police say he then tried to run down the owners of the stolen truck before Commerce City Police arrived on scene.
Police eventually caught up Ukuni in the stolen truck but lost sight of the suspect during a short pursuit. Police were then called to the Havana 7-Eleven store where Police say the suspect fatally struck Gurrini and then tried to steal two other vehicles to get away but was unsuccessful.
He was finally restrained by employees of Team Wash group who were fueling up a truck the suspect attempted to steal, police say.
“We’re like, ‘Oh no.’ We ran up and threw the dude out,” said Team Wash employee Justin Trujillo. “He was tussling a little bit. We knocked him down, and he ran out into the street.”
At one point during the struggle, police say Ukuni told witnesses that he had a hit list and that “three people were going to die today.”
Police have not released details into a possible motive. A statement made to police by Ukuni was redacted in the report. Mr. Ukuni’s actions all appeared to be random, the police report noted.
Ukuni is being held on charges of first-degree murder, six counts of attempted murder and aggravated robbery.