Denver police: 18-year-old arrested in Green Valley Ranch homicide

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Lin Li. Credit: DPD

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DENVER — An 18-year-old man has been arrested in connection to a homicide that occurred in Denver’s Green Valley Ranch neighborhood.

The Denver Police Department said Monday that Lin Li is being held for investigation of second-degree murder.

According to the statement of probable cause, about 1:45 a.m. Saturday, someone called 911 about a Lexus SUV in the King  Soopers parking lot at the corner of Green Valley Ranch Boulevard and Tower Road. The caller said the SUV had a busted out window and there was a person in the back seat.

When officers arrived seven minutes later, they found the rear passenger window was shattered and there was a man in the back seat with “significant trauma to his head.”

Paramedics responded to the scene and pronounced the man dead, according to the document. He was 21 years old and lived in Thornton.

Once a judge signed a search warrant, police found an AR-15 style rifle and three 30-round capacity magazines in the Lexus.

The Denver Medical Examiner’s Office determined the victim was killed by a single gunshot wound to the head. He also had a cut underneath his right eye that was not associated with the gunshot wound.

According to two witnesses’ reports, the shooting occurred when Li was beating the victim with a handgun and accidentally fired the weapon.

A third witness said the victim was in possession of the AR-15 style rifle and was “swinging it around at the others in the car,” according to the probable cause statement. The witness reportedly told investigators, “‘as far as I’m concerned it’s self-defense,'” in regards to Li’s actions.

Investigators used cellphone location data to track Li to the Ameristar Hotel in Blackhawk, where he was arrested Saturday night.

Li was taken to DPD headquarters, where he was found to have a statewide extradition warrant out of Adams County, according to the probable cause statement.

Authorities have not yet released the victim’s name.

The handgun involved in the shooting has not yet been recovered.

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