Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly referenced the type of vehicle involved.

DENVER (KDVR) — The family of Elias Armstrong is furious the man who killed the 12-year-old boy won’t face criminal charges.

The boy was found shot to death in a stolen vehicle in the 2900 block of West 10th Avenue on the night of Sunday, Feb. 5.

The vehicle owner, using a phone app, had tracked his stolen vehicle from the 8300 block of East Northfield Boulevard to the area of West 12th Avenue and Decatur Street, where he shot Elias Armstrong.

The 12-year-old then drove the vehicle a few blocks away, where he died from at least two gunshots.

“I think that if he would have just let the police approach the car and he sat back and waited till they got there, that my son would be alive right now. Since he took the law in his own hands, my son is dead because of him, and nothing is going to happen to him but a pat on the hand,” said an emotional Thomas Armstrong, the father of Elias.

Boy’s family shown video of shooting

The Denver District Attorney’s Office announced last week that the owner of the stolen vehicle would not face criminal charges because it determined there wasn’t sufficient evidence to charge the man with a crime.

“I just couldn’t believe it,” said Armstrong, who said the man was rewarded for vigilante justice.

The Armstrong family told the Problem Solvers that prosecutors obtained surveillance video and shared it with them to explain the decision not to charge the vehicle owner.

Thomas Armstrong said the footage shows a single bullet was fired from the back of the stolen vehicle first, before the vehicle owner allegedly unloaded 15 shots and one of the three boys inside the vehicle fired back twice.

“And the video, it showed the man with his hand on his gun, running towards them with a real fast speed … you heard one shot, then you just heard him let off 15 rounds into the car,” Thomas Armstrong said.

“The man, when he first pulled up to the car, he’s seen the little boy this tall is standing by his car, running and jumping into the car. He’s seen it was a little boy before any gunplay,” he added.

Thomas Armstrong said investigators told him there were two others boys with his son, both 16 years old, who were also shot but were able to run away.

Armstrong insisted his son was unarmed and that it was one of the two 16-year-olds who must have fired a gun toward the driver, because he said his son was in the front driver seat with his hands on the steering wheel. The shot, Armstrong said, came from the back seat, where the two 16-year-olds were sitting.

FOX31 has not been able to confirm those details.

12-year-old Elias Armstrong (Courtesy: Armstrong family)

Other teens under investigation

A Denver Police spokesperson told FOX31 that because detectives have an ongoing investigation involving juveniles, they would not comment or confirm what the Armstrong family told the Problem Solvers.

“I know the car had insurance on it, you know, there’s insurance on his car, but there’s no insurance on my brother’s life to get him back,” said Alicia Henderson, the 29-year-old sister of Elias Armstrong.

Henderson said the vehicle owner should have listened to Denver 911 dispatchers and waited for police to handle the situation instead of taking matters into his own hands.

“So the fact that this man was running up with the gun, showing them that he was very angry, he was going to shoot at them, in my eyes, they (the boys) were defending themselves,” Henderson said.

She is not just upset with the vehicle owner. She said the two teens who were with Elias have refused to talk with investigators.

“And for you guys to leave him there like that, and not even speak on his behalf, it will eat you up for the rest of your life. You’ll never sleep a day without thinking about that. You know, it’s going to hurt you real bad. And I just pray that you guys come forward, because ultimately your story plays a big part of this,” Henderson said.

Thomas Armstrong said his son had overcome a lot of adversity in life, including a liver transplant when he was just 6 months old.

“Elias’s death, it breaks my heart. I just can’t think about him so much, because there’s no coming back and I can’t replace him, and I just pray that he made it to heaven.”

Vehicle owner’s name has not been released

The vehicle owner has not been identified, and it’s unlikely that he will be since he does not face criminal charges.

That angers the Armstrong family, who say they want to file a wrongful death lawsuit against the man but are being stymied by prosecutors and police who refuse to release the man’s name.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann released the following statement to FOX31:

“My heart goes out to Elias Armstrong’s family in this time of terrible and overwhelming grief. I met with members of his family last week along with the DPD detective and members of my office to explain why a criminal case could not be brought based on the facts. The DA’s Office can only file charges when guilt can be proved beyond a reasonable doubt. In this instance, we cannot file charges because of self-defense issues which were present at the time.”

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann

Alicia Henderson has created a GoFundMe page to help cover her brother’s funeral expenses.

Visitation is on Friday, Feb. 24 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Pipkin Braswell Chapel Of Peace at 6601 E. Colfax Ave. in Denver.