GOLDEN, Colo. — A man has been formally charged after a series of alleged crimes, including shooting a woman in the face, across Lakewood, Denver and Littleton earlier this month.
Matthew Erik Lowderback, 34, was charged on Thursday with 12 counts in connection with the crimes, which spanned from April 9 into April 10, according to the Denver District Attorney's Office. The charges include attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault, two counts of robbery, aggravated motor vehicle theft, vehicular eluding, three counts of menacing, possession of a weapon by a previous offender and two crime of violence sentence enhancers.
The charges stem from multiple incidents, the first of which happened around 10 p.m. on April 9.
That evening, officers with the Lakewood Police Department responded to a report of a shooting along the 1600 block of Pierson Street. Witnesses had reported hearing a man and woman arguing, then a single gunshot. The witnesses told police they saw a woman who appeared to have a gunshot wound on her face. A man said he was taking her to the hospital and they did not need help, the witnesses later told authorities.
They left the scene in a black Jaguar SUV.
As an officer responded to the scene, they saw the SUV speeding 60 mph in a 35 mph zone, according to an affidavit. The officer tried to pull the driver over, but the driver accelerated to about 110 mph and ran a red light at W. Colfax Avenue and Colorado Mills Parkway. The officers determined that pursuing the car could cause a danger to the public, so they ended the pursuit.
Around this time, other officers had arrived at the apartment complex and saw a trail of blood from a front door to where the SUV had been parked, according to the affidavit. When officers went into the apartment, they found "considerable blood in the living room and an additional blood trail leading from the living room to a bathroom," according to the affidavit. They then sealed the scene.
An apartment manager provided the name of the person on the lease for the apartment, which matched the shooting victim's name. Officers were also able to obtain Ring doorbell video showing the suspect and victim walking down the stairs.
After obtaining a search warrant, investigators were able to search the apartment more. A sliding glass door had been shattered and a large pool of blood was on the outside of the patio. There were other obvious signs of a disturbance, according to the affidavit. A fired casing was found on the patio near the shattered glass door. Investigators also found forced entry into the bathroom door and bathroom closet, and it seemed they had been kicked open.
Around this same time, a 29-year-old woman covered in blood was found outside an ambulance bay at St. Luke’s Presbyterian Medical Center in Denver, the district attorney's office said. She was transferred to Denver Health for treatment. She had a gunshot wound on her chin. She had told paramedics somebody had shot her with her own gun, according to the affidavit.
After initial treatments, officers were able to talk with the victim.
During the subsequent investigation, authorities learned that the man accused of shooting her was Lowderback. In addition to the shooting, Lowderback was accused of stealing the Jaguar, which belonged to the woman.
At the time, he was a fugitive for second-degree assault and strangulation in Weld County: On May 22, 2022, he had allegedly assaulted a person and stole their car in Mead.
Investigators learned that the victim and suspect had known each other for about four years and he had been staying in her apartment for a few weeks, according to the affidavit. They had argued the night of the shooting. Lowderback had said he thought he was going to prison soon because of multiple pending criminal cases against him. He said he'd rather kill himself than go to prison, according to the affidavit, and wanted to use the victim's car to get into a crash, which she disagreed with.
When the victim tried to hide from the suspect, he allegedly broke down the bathroom door. The victim had armed herself with her firearm but did not shoot when the suspect demanded her to shoot him, according to the affidavit. The suspect then wrestled the firearm out of her hands and shot her on the balcony, the document reads.
The investigators who spoke with the victim at the hospital were able to track the Jaguar to just outside the entrance of St. Joseph's Hospital's emergency department. When Lakewood and Denver officers went to that location, they found it unoccupied.
Later that day, investigators also uncovered Lowderback's extensive criminal background, which included prior arrests for felony menacing, parole violations, assault, child abuse, domestic violence, kidnapping and more.
The day after the shooting, April 10, officers with the Denver Police Department responded to a disturbance involving a person with a gun. That individual was identified as Lowderback and the responding officers were informed of the warrant out of Weld County and shooting the day prior, the district attorney's office said.
When officers arrived, they saw Lowderback in the passenger seat of a Honda CRV. It's not clear who the driver was.
Officers were able to stop the car at S. Lowell Boulevard and W. Bowles Avenue, and Lowderback ran from the car southwest on W. Bowles Avenue and into Clement Park. Officers saw that he had a handgun, the district attorney's office said.
In an attempt to take him into custody, officers fired less-lethal rounds at him, but he continued to run away from them.
"Lowderback is accused of pointing his black handgun at DPD officers during the pursuit," the district attorney's office said. "Officers then fired multiple rounds at Lowderback, causing him to fall to the ground. Officers then placed him in custody, and he was transferred to Littleton Hospital for emergency medical treatment."
He was released from the hospital on April 20 and was booked into the Jefferson County Jail.
He appeared before the First Judicial District Court the following day and received a $1 million cash only bond.