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Man accused of shooting Aurora Waffle House cook in court Friday, formally charged

Posted at 9:23 AM, May 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-22 13:30:50-04

AURORA, Colo. — The man accused of opening fire on an Aurora Waffle House cook who refused to serve him because he wasn't wearing a mask has been formally charged.

On Friday morning, Kelvin Watson, 27, of Denver, was formally charged with attempted first-degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon, felony menacing and multiple crime of violence sentence enhancers.

READ MORE: Man refusing to wear mask shoots Aurora Waffle House cook after being told to leave, police say

Based on an arrest affidavit, Watson entered the Waffle House at 12880 E. Mississippi Ave. in Aurora on May 14 around 12:27 a.m. and was refused service because he wasn't wearing a mask.

He left and returned with a mask, but he wasn't wearing it over his mouth. According to the affidavit, he threatened staff at the restaurant, telling a 25-year-old cook, "You better shut the f--k up before I blow your brains out," while allegedly showing that he had a gun. Watson then left and while police were called later that morning, the cook did not want to press charges.

Around midnight that evening, late on May 14, Watson returned to the restaurant and again demanded to be served while not wearing a mask. He was told to leave because the restaurant was at capacity, according to the affidavit. But Watson refused, became very upset, and slapped the 25-year-old victim across the face with his open left hand, cutting his lip, according to the affidavit. The cook then ran out the restaurant's back door and called police.

Watson followed him, making numerous statements like, "You better shut the f--k up and serve me," according to the affidavit. The cook told police that Watson then shot him once as he ran to his apartment a short distance away.

Officers were dispatched to the scene around 12:06 a.m. on May 15. When they arrived, they found the cook with serious abdominal injuries. He was holding a towel to the right lower section of his abdomen, according to the affidavit. He told them the man who had shot him was the same man who threatened to shoot him the previous evening.

Several witnesses identified Watson as the suspect and he matched the appearance of a person in surveillance videos.

Staff at the Waffle House told police Watson was a regular customer.

Watson was arrested in the early morning hours of May 15 on charges of suspicion of first-degree murder. He bonded out of jail on May 20.

On May 22, he was formally charged with attempted first-degree murder.

A Waffle House spokesperson said the cook is continuing to recover and is "doing well." He has been released from the hospital.

The Waffle House released the following statement regarding the incident: "We are deeply saddened and regret that this senseless act of violence occurred, causing injury to a member of our Waffle House family early Friday morning. We have learned that the hospital released our injured associate on Friday afternoon to recover from what has been described as a non-life- threatening injury. Our thoughts are with him, his family and coworkers at this difficult time. We ask that anyone who has any information about this incident to contact the local authorities as soon as possible. We are cooperating fully with the investigation, and direct all additional questions regarding the specifics of this incident to the local authorities handling the case."

During the investigation, Aurora police also learned that he was a suspect in a Denver shooting on April 23, where he reportedly shot up Wyatt's Towing facility for towing his BMW. No one was injured in that shooting.