AURORA, Colo. – A man trying to keep the peace outside an Aurora restaurant as several people argued over refusing to pay for food that had gone cold was shot in the chest and later died as a result of his injuries, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Denver7 Monday.
Jacqueline De Paz, 28, was arrested two days later and is facing second-degree murder charges in the death of Rudy Arguello-Rios following the Dec. 23 shooting outside the Mariscos El Rey 2 restaurant.
Police documents state De Paz, along with a group of about seven other people, complained to a server that a nearby door that was opened, as well as the outdoor vents of the restaurant, led to their food getting cold, therefore they would not be paying for what they had consumed that night.
Witnesses who saw the argument told police the server then threatened to call police if they left without paying, at which point the group exited the restaurant. The documents state the server then followed the group outside to demand payment.
The argument then turned into a brawl after the women in the group confronted the server about taking pictures of the group’s cars as well as their license plates, something that had apparently angered the disgruntled customers, with one trying to take the server's phone away, according to the arrest affidavit.
People at the restaurant then described how customers from a neighboring table also went outside to defend the server and to try to defuse the situation. Among them was Arguello-Rios, whom the witness described as a peacekeeper who was yelling at the group to stop being rude and to be respectful, the arrest affidavit shows.
It’s at this point, police said, that the crowd broke into two groups with men fighting other men and women fighting other women outside the restaurant.
At least one witness told police they remembered one of the men in the group punching Arguello-Rios multiple times, causing him to fall to the pavement. As this was happening, another witness recalled how De Paz pulled out a gun and pointed it at a person in the parking lot. The witness told police Arguello-Rios must have seen this “as he stood up and ran toward” the person who had the gun pointed at them, police documents state.
The witness told investigators Arguello-Rios approached De Paz to try and take the gun away from her before a muffled shot was heard. In an interview with police, the witness said the man did not have a gun on himself or any other weapon at the time of the shooting and said he did not make any threats that would made De Paz fear for her life. The witness further claimed that De Paz raised the gun and fired the weapon without provocation, according to the arrest affidavit.
After he was shot, Arguello-Rios was escorted to the front of the restaurant by a family member where he would eventually collapse. He was taken to the Medical Center of Aurora where he would later die from a gunshot wound to the chest, the documents show.
According to the affidavit, De Paz and the rest of the group left the scene of the shooting in separate vehicles.
De Paz would later be arrested on Christmas Day by Aurora police.
Court documents show De Paz, who had her first court appearance Monday, is facing three other charges besides second-degree murder.
She has a preliminary hearing scheduled for January 28, 2021.