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Man arrested in Dollar General shooting faces federal weapons count, linked to 3 other shootings

Denver police say McCaslin linked to Jan. 23, 25 shootings in city
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Posted at 12:54 PM, Feb 01, 2021

DENVER – The man arrested last week in connection with a shooting at an Adams County Dollar General that injured two has been charged with a federal count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and is linked to several other recent shootings in the metro area, according to court documents.

Johnny McCaslin, 48, was out on parole for a 2014 felony burglary conviction when he allegedly shot two people – including a woman who uses a wheelchair – at the Dollar General near West 53rd Place and Sheridan Boulevard last Tuesday morning.

During the shooting, he and a Hispanic woman were seen on surveillance video at the store. As McCaslin was leaving, he allegedly shot the man and woman before he and the woman left in a black BMW sedan. The federal affidavit for McCaslin’s federal charge said his “actions appeared to be unprovoked.”

Inside the store, investigators found nine .40-caliber shell casings. According to the federal affidavit, the shell casings, black BMW vehicle description and description of the suspects “matched several other shootings in the metro area.”

Another one of the metro-area shootings investigators say they have linked McCaslin to was one that occurred just before 4 p.m. on Nov. 29 in the parking lot of an apartment complex at 420 Zang Street in Lakewood.

According to the federal affidavit, surveillance video showed a white male and a woman with dark hair get out of a vehicle in the parking lot and argue before a witness heard two shots and saw the man holding a silver handgun.

Surveillance video showed the two get back into a black sedan that had a temporary front plate for a local automotive dealership. Officers went to the dealership, and the owner confirmed that the vehicle – a 2009 black BMW 550 sedan – had been purchased by a Myrissa Montano.

The affidavit says investigators also recovered a .40-caliber shell casing from the apartment complex parking lot in Lakewood.

They ran the casing from Lakewood and the casings from the Dollar General shooting through the National Integrative Ballistics Information Network and found the two bullets to be associated, according to the affidavit.

The casings also matched shootings that occurred in Denver on Jan. 23 and 25 of this year, according to the federal affidavit, though the affidavit does not say which Denver shootings the cases were linked to out of the several that occurred on those days.

The Denver Police Department confirmed to Denver7 Monday that it believes McCaslin is the suspect in a previously-unreported shooting that happened in the 1100 block of Kalamath just before 10 p.m. on Jan. 23, as well as in the shooting in the 4800 block of Quivas on Jan. 25. But the department said it had not formalized his arrest as of 3 p.m. Monday.

Police said a man was shot in the Kalamath shooting and drove himself to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.

“In both incidents, the unknown male suspect was observed in a black BMW sedan,” the federal affidavit says regarding the Jan. 23 and 25 shootings.

Investigators continued to work to link McCaslin to the other shootings in the hours after the Dollar General shooting, according to the documents. A witness who was presented with a photo lineup of possible suspects for the Dollar General shooting did not identify McCaslin, however.

The day after the shooting, on Jan. 27, investigators talked to McCaslin’s parole officer. McCaslin was sentenced in July 2014 to 15 years in prison for the 2014 felony burglary but was released on parole just a few years later. He also previously served prison time for cases out of Denver, Jefferson, Crowley and Adams counties, according to Department of Corrections records.

McCaslin’s parole officer said McCaslin had been on a GPS tracking device until Jan. 7 and told investigators that his coordinates for just before 4 p.m. on Nov. 29 put him at the 420 Zang Street apartment complex in Lakewood.

Investigators also discovered he had likely been living at an apartment in Arvada with Montano, to whom the black BMW had been sold, according to the affidavit.

A judge signed a search warrant for that apartment on Jan. 27, and SWAT officers served the warrant. Neither McCaslin nor Montano originally spoke to the SWAT team that arrived, but they eventually surrendered later that evening.

When the search warrant was executed, according to the affidavit, officers found a Smith and Wesson .40-caliber handgun with 10 rounds of ammunition inside, which was located next to a pair of sneakers that matched the ones the suspect was wearing during the Dollar General shooting. Officers also discovered an AR pistol, .223-caliber ammunition and 300 grams of suspected meth, according to the affidavit.

McCaslin made his initial appearance in the U.S. District Court of Colorado in Denver Monday afternoon in front of Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix.

McCaslin said he understood the nature of the lone felony charge that he faces and that he had the right to remain silent during his hearing.

But when Judge Mix asked him to confirm whether his financial affidavit was correct to the best of his knowledge – part of the process in deciding whether she would appoint him a public defender – he spoke at length.

McCaslin told the judge that he and his “partner” were working to start their own business and claimed there had been “a couple of misunderstandings” along the way. He further discussed his hopes that he and his partner would be able to continue down their financial planning path.

Judge Mix reminded him that she was only asking whether or not his sworn financial affidavit was accurate to the best of his knowledge, but he continued to talk about working to start his own business.

At that point, the public defender stepped in to advise him that he should not speak further about his relationship with his partner and simply answer the judge’s question. McCaslin eventually said that he believed he had signed the affidavit and that it was correct that he had said he only had $100 in the bank and had been making about $1,000 a month before his arrest.

Judge Nix said that an attorney would likely be appointed before McCaslin’s next court hearing – a detention and preliminary hearing to determine whether he will be released pending trial and if there is enough evidence to support the charge against him – which was scheduled for Feb. 4 at 2 p.m.

Court documents show the U.S. Attorney’s Office intends to seek detention for McCaslin pending his federal case. If he is convicted of the felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition count, he faces up to 10 years in prison, up to a $250,000 fine, or both. The potential prison time would increase if a sentence enhancement were to apply to his case.