Accused Colorado Walmart shooter Scott Ostrem to be formally charged Monday

Posted at 12:23 PM, Nov 06, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-06 15:23:06-05

DENVER – The man accused of shooting and killing three people at a Thornton Walmart last week is expected to be formally charged in the case Monday afternoon.

Scott Allen Ostrem, 47, is expected to have formal charges filed against him at a 1:30 p.m. court appearance in Adams County. You can watch the hearing live in the player embedded below, or by clicking here.


His arrest warrant carried three first-degree murder after deliberation charges, but District Attorney Dave Young said Friday that Ostrem would likely see “multiple counts” in the case, possibly including attempted murder.

"When you fire into a crowd of people you don't necessarily need to fire more than one shot to be convicted or charged with attempted murder," Young said Friday.

Should Ostrem face either first-degree murder or felony murder charges and be convicted, he could possibly face the death penalty.

Colorado hasn’t executed anyone since 1997, though three inmates remain on death row. Gov. John Hickenlooper has pledged to not execute anyone while he’s in office, but the state will elect a new governor next November.

Class 1 felony convictions are also punishable by life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Should Ostrem face and be convicted of a class 1 felony, like first-degree murder, a separate sentencing hearing would be held to determine if prosecutors would seek the death penalty or not.

Also, if a person is found to be mentally incompetent to be executed, the state is barred from executing them in accordance with state law. A law enforcement source told Denver7 last week Ostrem’s mental health history was being evaluated.

Young would not comment Friday on whether he would seek the death penalty for Ostrem.

The filing of formal charges against Ostrem could also unveil more details about the shooting, which officials have yet to say much about. Thornton police are leading the investigation, but the FBI is also involved. Neither had determined a motive in the shooting as of Friday, and the affidavit in the case has been under seal.

Police arrested Ostrem near 72nd Ave. and Federal Thursday morning more than 12 hours after the shooting occurred. An anonymous citizen tip alerted authorities to his presence in the area, police said, though FBI agents also spotted him in the area. Ostrem was arrested just a few blocks from his apartment.

The coroner for Adams and Broomfield counties on Thursday identified the three killed in the shooting as 52-year-old Pamela Marques of Denver, 66-year-old Carlos Moreno of Thornton, and 26-year-old Victor Vasquez of Denver.

Ostrem had a history of run-ins with the police—most recently a driving while ability impaired conviction in Wheat Ridge in 2014. Neighbors said he was “weird” and kept to himself. Another neighbor told Denver7 Ostrem came off as rude and unapproachable.

“He was on the edge, not friendly, wouldn’t talk to anybody,” said neighbor Teresa Muniz. “You didn’t dare talk to him, because he always looked mad.”

Ostrem walked off his roofing job Wednesday morning in Frederick, the company confirmed, but was otherwise a “good worker,” fellow employees said. He also had several failed businesses, and declared bankruptcy in September 2015.

He was held without bond over the weekend pending the filing of the formal charges. Denver7 is expecting to stream is court appearance live on this page and on Facebook.