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Two men involved in 2019 Castle Rock shooting have been sentenced to prison

Posted at 8:14 AM, Dec 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-12-28 10:16:49-05

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — Both men involved in a 2019 shooting near a Castle Rock grocery store have now been sentenced to prison.

On Nov. 3, 2020, Benito Bautista, 27, of Denver, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree assault. On Dec. 17, 2021, Hugo Vazquez-Topete, 29, pleaded guilty to first-degree assault. The other counts against both men were dismissed as part of the plea deal.

Bautista was sentenced in January 2021 to 14 years in prison. Vazquez-Topete was sentenced to 25 years in prison on Monday, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.

Benito Bautista, Hugo Vazquez-Topete.jpg

The charges stemmed from Aug. 6, 2019, when Vazquez-Topete and two associates, including Bautista, were pumping gas into an older Chevy Suburban at a King Soopers parking lot. A man and his friends were doing the same nearby. The groups "exchanged words" and the other group got into a car and drove to the exit, according to the district attorney's office.

Around 7 p.m., at the nearby stoplight, Vazquez-Topete grabbed his gun and fired into the other vehicle. Bautista also fired at the victim’s car but did not hit anyone.

One person in that car was struck in the chest. The person was transported to a hospital and survived.

Based on surveillance video and witnesses, Castle Rock police were able to identify the three men in the Suburban and determined that Vazquez-Topete had fired the shot that struck the person in the other car.

Vazquez-Topete and Bautista were found and arrested.

The third person in the Suburban, who did not participate in the crime, was not charged, according to the district attorney's office. The two groups at the gas pump did not know each other.