Dispute over fireworks leads to fatal shooting in Aurora

AURORA, Colo. -- An Independence Day dispute over fireworks led to a fatal shooting in Aurora on Thursday.

According to the arrest affidavit, a man and woman who work for the Department of Corrections became upset when a 14-year-old boy, 9-year-old girl and their mother began lighting fireworks at an apartment complex at 16498 E. Alameda Pl.

Scott Mathews and his girlfriend, Katherine O'Neal, argued with the group, saying that the fireworks scared their dog. Both were armed with handguns when they confronted the woman and her children.

Throughout the course of the argument, O'Neal admitted to drawing her gun but said that she didn't point it at anyone, the affidavit states.

At one point, Mathews allegedly headbutted the children's mother, Shamira Cotton, and pointed his gun at her while yelling profanities, she told police. Cotton admitted to throwing her drink at Mathews during the encounter.

Jaharie Wheeler and Shamira Cotton.

Cotton's boyfriend, Jaharie Wheeler, came out of his apartment to find his girlfriend bleeding, according to the affidavit.

The two men began arguing and the affidavit said that Wheeler threw a punch at Mathews, who then drew his gun on Wheeler and shot him in the chest, killing him.

Mathews was taken into custody the following day; his bond is set at $100,000 and a hearing to file charges is set for Wednesday.

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