DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo. — The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has identified the 17-year-old girl killed in a suspected murder-suicide Tuesday as Mya Pena.
Authorities believe 18-year-old Samuel Hoffman, of Centennial, killed Pena Tuesday afternoon near her school, Mile High Academy in Highlands Ranch.
About 7:45 p.m. Tuesday, Hoffman killed himself as law enforcement approached his car in El Paso County, according to police.
Pena’s body was found in the vehicle.
The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Colorado State Patrol and the Fountain Police Department are working together to investigate the case as a murder-suicide.
On Wednesday, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said Pena and Hoffman were friends for several years. At some point, “their relationship grew stronger,” Spurlock said.
Hoffman attended Littleton High School until December 2018, when he left to attend a GED program through Littleton Public Schools.
Hoffman was allegedly involved in a domestic violence situation in Aurora, Spurlock said.
Mile High Academy issued the following statement, in part, about Pena:
“Our hearts go out to the family. We want this family to know that they are in our thoughts and our prayers.”
The school said it is working closely with authorities as the investigation continues. Additionally, it is providing counselors for grieving students and staff.
A GoFundMe has been established to help the Pena family pay for funeral expenses.