JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (KDVR) — FOX31 is following new details in a bizarre crime spree in Jefferson and Boulder counties.
Wednesday marks one week since someone threw large rocks at moving vehicles that resulted in injuries, car damage and even one death. The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has reported seven incidents that happened in less than one hour, with most happening on or near Highway 93 and Indiana Street.
One of the victims is now sharing his experience about what happened the night of April 19. There have been no arrests made in the attacks, and that’s why Nathan Tipton said he’s coming forward publicly. Tipton is hoping whoever is responsible will surrender and give a grieving family closure.
Rock attack ‘sounded like a shotgun blast’
Tipton entered a crowded room of cameras on Tuesday afternoon to relive a day he describes as “shocking.”
“I’m headed southbound on (Highway) 93, in between Boulder and Golden,” Tipton said.
The father of three drives for Uber and Lyft. He shared that last Wednesday night he had just dropped off passengers in Boulder from a concert at Red Rocks and was headed back to the venue on Highway 93, near Highway 128, when something shattered.
“A large shatter,” Tipton recalled. “It sounded like a shotgun blast. Scared the heck out of me.”
Tipton said right before the loud crash, he encountered two vehicles driving northbound. He said his first instinct was to follow the vehicles, but upon further reflection, he thought it could also be debris from the road.
Tipton said he pulled over immediately, and that’s when he discovered the damage to his minivan. He explained that the driver’s side back window and part of the sliding window were shattered. He described the point of impact as 4 inches in diameter and likely from a 2-3 pound river rock.
“It’s definitely one of those situations that feels very surreal,” Tipton said.
He said that he called his wife to alert her about what happened, and that’s when he learned it was not a random incident.
Investigators seek light-colored pickup truck or SUV
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office reported several other similar incidents in the same area, including one that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Alexa Bartell.
“I have a lot of anger that they would do this. I have a lot of anger that they took somebody’s life,” Tipton said.
Authorities believe a rock went through Bartell’s windshield, fatally wounding her on Indiana Street. At the scene of the crime now sits a small growing memorial of flowers as the search for answers continues.
The Sheriff’s Office is looking for a light-colored pickup truck or SUV that could possibly be involved.
Although shaken up by the incident, Tipton said that he is not letting this incident stop him and will continue driving for rideshare companies. He’s hoping that by sharing what happened to him, the culprits will come forward.
“Grow up. Mature. Turn yourself in and give this family some closure on what happened to their daughter,” Tipton said. “They didn’t deserve to have their daughter taken away from them.”
There is currently a reward of up to $17,000 for information leading to an arrest in Bartell’s homicide case.
The 20-year-old’s family members are expected to speak publicly for the first time on Wednesday, and FOX31 will be in attendance.