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Man who fatally shot 12-year-old boy inside stolen car won't be charged

Tony Webster
CC BY-SA 4.0

Prosecutors will not file criminal charges against the man who fatally shot a 12-year-old boy inside a stolen car in Denver during a shootout.

The Denver District Attorney's Office does not believe it can prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt in the Feb. 5 shooting, an ethical standard it must meet in order to file charges, office spokesperson Carolyn Tyler said Friday.

Police have said the owner of the stolen car used an app to track and find his vehicle — and that when he approached it, there was an "exchange of gunfire" with at least one person inside the car. The boy, identified as Elias Armstrong, drove a few blocks away, and police said they found him inside with a gunshot wound.

He died after being taken to the hospital.

Other people who were in the vehicle appeared to run away before officers arrived, police said.

Police said Friday that they are still investigating who stole the vehicle, who else was inside, and who fired at the car's owner and was seeking tips from the community.

In 2021, police issued an alert for Armstrong, then 10, after he ran away from home.