Family of teen shot in back during trespassing incident says they’re disappointed with DA decision

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DENVER (KDVR) — The family of a teen who was shot in the back after allegedly trespassing at a vacant home in April said they are going to continue to pursue a legal case even though the district attorney declined to file charges against the shooter.

“He wasn’t trying to harm anybody, him and his friends were just trying to have a little bit of fun,” Ana Mendez said of her brother Alexis Mendez Perez, 16.

Mendez said her brother was goofy, loved music and video games, and his girlfriend was expecting a baby.

“Just to know that my brother’s no longer here with us and to know that the person who did this to him is going to continue to live a normal life like nothing happened. Just a lot of anger. A lot of anger,” said Ivette Mendez, another sister.

Mendez-Perez’s family watched a virtual court hearing Thursday morning in which a judge announced the case would be closed.

“Obviously we are extraordinarily disappointed,” said Charlie Crichton, an attorney who represents the family. “We’re going to pursue whatever civil remedies are available, and we’re going to try to pressure the district attorney’s office despite this decision.”

Ivette Mendez said she is angry over the shooting.

The alleged shooter, Desmond Manning, is a criminal investigator for the Colorado Department of Corrections. According to court paperwork, he’s accused of shooting two males after they jumped a fence and darted away from a nearby vacant home.

A 911 caller had reported a group of males were “tearing things up” inside the vacant home.

The district attorney’s office told the FOX31 Problem Solvers it did not have enough evidence to prove murder beyond a reasonable doubt.

“Not only does the law require us to prove the elements of murder, it also requires us to disprove that Mr. Manning was defending his own life and the lives of his family when he shot Mendez-Perez,” the DA’s office said.

Neither Manning nor his attorney, David Kaplan returned our phone calls on Thursday.

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