DENVER (KDVR) — The FOX31 Problem Solvers are following up on a fatal shooting from early June in Lower Downtown, where 23-year-old Jason Morales was shot and killed after a fight.
The Denver District Attorney’s Office will not charge his killer and now Morales’ mother is reacting, talking exclusively with FOX31.
The intersection of 21st and Larimer streets is yet again the setting of a shooting investigation. Unlike the many other cases from this area, this investigation is now over.
“When I found out, I just didn’t believe it,” Allison Pacheco said. She’s the mother of 23-year-old Jason Morales, who was killed in that shooting on June 11.
What video shows from the fight
She spoke to FOX31 alongside her daughter, as well as Morales’ girlfriend and their 3-year-old daughter, at the location where those shots rang out.
Pacheco said her son got into a dispute with the gunman, which was also shown in HALO camera video provided by the Denver Police Department. The video showed several people were also involved.
“There were three girls walking right here and the suspect had bumped one of them pretty hard to where they moved and looked back. And I don’t know what words were exchanged between my son and the shooter. And then it became a fight,” Pacheco explained.
Shortly after blows were exchanged, shots were fired, as can be heard in cell phone video obtained by FOX31. But moments before the gunman began shooting, it appears he was on the receiving end of at least two people hitting him simultaneously. Morales’ mother acknowledges one of those men was her son.
The Denver DA’s office has decided not to charge the gunman as a result of self-defense issues.
“If it was self-defense, I would deal, I would accept it, being that it was two against one. But clearly, it shows that it was not self-defense,” Pacheco said. She said her concern is the fact there was a fight, the fight ended, and the gunman came back, which she doesn’t believe should rise to the level of self-defense.
FOX31 Legal Analyst Chris Decker said a case like this one can be very difficult to decide whether charges are filed or not. At the end of the day, it comes down to evidence.
“A careful analysis is done in every shooting, whether it results in a death or not,” he said.
This happened in a part of Lower Downtown, which has had its share of aggravated assaults, homicides, attempted homicides and death investigations in the past year.
“They are letting a murderer be free and they’re supposed to be the ones getting all of the criminals off the street, but yet they are not doing nothing about it,” Pacheco said. She added: “So it’s not preventing the situation and I’m sure it’ll happen again.”
A spokesperson with the Denver DA’s office sent this statement: “[We] confirm that we did not believe we could overcome issues of self-defense and prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in this matter. We have an ethical obligation to only take cases forward if we believe a jury will return a guilty verdict.”