Brice Fitch is in a Denver, Colorado jail charged with first-degree murder for alleging killing a person Fitch says was breaking into his car as the suspect and others were getting away.
According to the Denver Sheriff’s Department online jail records, the 24-year-old is being held without bond at Denver’s Downtown Detention Center. He appeared in court Monday afternoon.
The Denver District Attorney released the probable cause document filed by Denver police. According to affidavit originally uploaded by local media, Fitch claims the AR-15 rifle he retrieved from inside his house fired “accidentally” as the suspects were driving off, and he claimed, swerved toward him. He fell when hit by the open driver side door and the gun “went off.” As the car continued to make its getaway, Fitch fired again, twice. He says he saw brake lights and thought they were coming back for him.
Later that day, the body of 26-year-old Guillermo Medrano-Sandoval was found in a car miles away with a gunshot wound. Police determined the cases were connected and Fitch was arrested.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Said Fitch Fired His AR-15 Rifle 3 Times at Suspects in a Getaway Car. He Says a Man & Woman Were Inside His Vehicle Parked in His Driveway
According to the charging documents, police responded for a attempted vehicle theft and shots-fired call.
Fitch told investigators he let his dogs out at around 4 a.m. Friday when he heard a rustling noise and saw the lights on in his car and the doors open. Two people were inside. He yelled for them to “get out of my car” and then went inside to get his AR-15 rifle.
When he came back out armed, the two people, suspect/victim Medrano-Sandoval and an unidentified female, were trying to get in another car when Fitch confronted them at the drivers’ side of the car. He saw the driver reach for the console and begin to drive off, swerving toward him, he said. Fitch fell and his rifle went off. He told detectives he believed he had his finger on the trigger when it went off accidentally. He later said he was had his “weapon in low ready first” and then in the “ready position.” He fired again, this time on purpose, as the driver stopped in the middle of the block and Fitch fired twice, blowing out the rear window.
Fitch was treated for minor injures, the affidavit reads.
2. Nine Hours Later & Miles Away in Aurora, Colorado, Police Found a the Suspect’s Car Witt a Shot-Out Rear Window & Medrano-Sandoval Inside, Dead From a Gunshot Wound to the Chest
In the probable cause document, Aurora Police contacted Denver Police after responding to a well-bring check found a car matching the description of the one in Denver. It’s rear window had been shot out. Inside was Medrano-Sandoval, dead. The Denver Medical Examiner would later determine a single gunshot wound to his chest killed Medrano-Sandoval.
Fitch was arrested and charged.
3. Some Support Fitch’s Actions on Social Media But Not All. Fitch’s Family Has Asked for Prayers
Comments that laud Fitch for his alleged cations include:
“This guy needs a GoFundMe!”
“The world is a better place. The shooter deserves a medal.”
“Hey, dick heads! Think about this next time you go to take what doesn’t belong to you. You may not live to see tomorrow.”
But far more replied that a human life has more value that a car or its belongings if the account that his car was being stolen or times in it being taken is accurate.
“The amount of people who place a car above the value of a life is unsettling. I’m a car person, I’d be completely devastated if someone broke into my car or stole it, but I would never kill somebody over it. Y’all are evil,” wrote Joseph Sarrica.
Fitch’s mother Tina has asked friends to pray for her family.
“My family needs prayers today! Pray like we have never prayed before ! Please, please, please!”
4. Fitch is a Culinary School Graduate Who Works in Restaurant Management
According to his Facebook, Fitch studied culinary arts and food service management at Johnson & Wales University in Denver and graduated in 2014.
Fitch wrote that he works at Restaurant Depot and is a cook and caterer at Haute Plate Bistro. Currently living in Denver, Fitch is from Glenwood Spring, Colorado and graduated form Glenwood Springs High School.
He has featured images of his cuisine on his social media.
5. Colorado’s ‘Make My Day’ Law is a Self-Defense Statute & is Not Applicable Under Circumstances as Described by Police
Written and signed into law in 1985, the so-called “Make My Day” law was created for homeowners to protect themselves from intruders. The law has been used as a defense justification, but when a shooting was committed not in defense of one’s life inside their home, it’s not applicable; a citizen cannot use deadly force to protect property, like a car allegedly being stolen as is the case in with Fitch, police say.
The Denver Post wrote about cases where the law was not permitted as a defense including a 2010 case where an elderly man fired a gun at two men trying to steal a flatbed trailer outside his house. He was charged with attempted first degree murder and could not use the law as a defense. He pleaded out but served no time in jail, the Denver Post reported. Another case, this one in 2016, had a Denver man fire his rifle out his window at two teenagers trying to steal his marijuana plants. He killed one and injured another. Again, the self-defense law was not able to be used and he’s facing murder and attempted murder charges, the Post reported.