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'They definitely need to be held accountable': Victim from Jefferson County rock-throwing incidents speaks out

Alexa Bartell, 20, was killed when a large rock was thrown at her vehicle in Jefferson County.
Rock throwing victim Nathan Tipton vehicle
Rock throwing victim Nathan Tipton vehicle
Rock throwing victim Nathan Tipton vehicle
Posted at 9:49 PM, Apr 25, 2023
and last updated 2023-04-26 11:13:13-04

UPDATE | Wednesday, 7 a.m. — Three 18-year-old suspects, who are high school seniors, were arrested in connection to a string of rock-throwing incidents at vehicles including the senseless attack that killed 20-year-old Alexa Bartell. Click here for the story.


GOLDEN, Colo. — One of the seven victims identified so far in the series of deadly rock throwing incidents in the north Denver metro area spoke out Tuesday afternoon, recounting his experience and his hope that the suspect behind the attacks is caught.

Nathan Tipton was driving south on Highway 93 in Jefferson County the evening of Wednesday, April 19 when the mid and rear driver’s side windows of his minivan were shattered. It occurred around the same time that a similar attack killed 20-year-old Alexa Bartell.

“I hope Alexa and her family can get some type of justice for what’s gone on,” Tipton said when asked about his choice to speak out publicly. “When people’s lives are in jeopardy, that’s when it crosses the line.”

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Tipton drives for Uber and Lyft, and said he had taken four people to Boulder from a concert at Red Rocks Wednesday night. After dropping them off, he began driving southbound on Highway 93 and had just crossed back into Jefferson County when his minivan was hit.

“It was a dark road, and then a large shatter — sounded like a shotgun blast, scared the heck out of me. I pulled over right away,” Tipton said.

Tipton said he got out of his van to find the windows on his van shattered. Initially, he believed it may have been caused by debris blowing in the wind. However, his wife quickly informed him through a phone call that a young woman had been killed after something was thrown at her vehicle.

“When I found out that this series of events actually took the young lady’s life, you know, I felt for Alexa and her family,” Tipton said. “It really, it put me in a bit of a shock.”

Rock throwing victim Nathan Tipton vehicle

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office still has not found the person behind these attacks. Tipton believes the rock that hit his van came from one of two cars that passed him on Highway 93 right before his windows shattered, but said he didn’t get a good enough look to describe them.

“It’s not fair to any of us,” he said. “They definitely need to be held accountable for what they’ve done.”

If you know anything that could help in the investigation, you’re asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. You can remain anonymous, and a reward up to $17,000 is being offered for information that leads to the suspect(s).

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