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Just days before he would have graduated from high school, Lloyd Chavez IV was shot with a .22 caliber pistol just outside of his home. He later died after being rushed to a hospital. Police have since charged four Colorado teens with his murder, which an affidavit says occurred during a botched robbery involving $25 worth of vape juice.
Dominic Stager, 17; Juliana Serrano, 17; Kenneth Gallegos, 17; and Demarea Mitchell, 16, were arrested this week on murder, aggravated robbery, and conspiracy charges. All four are currently being held in jail without bond.
“He was a great kid from a great family with a ton of potential,” Chavez’s high school rugby coach, Dave Farmer, told Denver7. “And most importantly, he made people feel good about themselves.”
According to the Arapahoe County Police affidavit, Chavez sold vape juice on SnapChat. Serrano, who is Gallegos’s girlfriend, contacted Chavez to meet him in front of his house to buy $25 of vape juice.
According to Serrano, Chavez told the teens he didn’t have the product on him, and he began walking back to his house after pocketing the cash. That’s when one of Serrano’s friends confronted him and pulled out the gun, which she claimed was only meant to scare Chavez.
Instead, a scuffle ensued, and the gun went off, striking Chavez with a bullet in his chest. Due to the suspects’ conflicting accounts as to what actually happened, police have been unable to confirm who actually fired the round.
However, during a police interview, Serrano gave a conflicting account when she said she and the other three teenagers initially plotted to rob Chavez of his entire vape juice stash.
Chavez’s family and friends are currently raising money to cover his funeral costs. A celebration of Chavez’s life will be held on Saturday at Glendale’s Cook Park.
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