AURORA, Colo. — Prosecutors say a man who was shot seven times saved the woman he was with by putting his body over hers when her estranged husband approached them and opened fire in Aurora. The suspect was sentenced to prison on May 3.
David William Torrez, 35, of Englewood, pleaded guilty on March 4 to attempted first-degree murder after deliberation. Under his plea agreement, other charges against him were dropped. Arapahoe District Court Judge Darren Vahle sentenced him to the maximum sentence allowed under the plea agreement — 45 years, according to the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office.
Torrez ambushed his estranged wife, 38, and her male companion, 40, on South Pagosa Way in Aurora around 8:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, 2020. Torrez opened fire on them, hitting the man seven times.
When officers arrived, they found the injured man in the driver's seat of his car. Of the seven gunshot wounds he had, two were to his head, four were to his upper left arm and one was to his right femur, according to a probable cause statement. The 38-year-old woman was with the man, but had not been shot, according to the district attorney's office.
The man was transported to a hospital.
The woman told police that she was separated from her husband, Torrez, and is in the process of divorcing him, according to the probable cause statement. She added that he had been harassing and stalking her, an he had a history of being physically abusive to her, according to the probable cause statement. The woman said she went to the hospital in December 2019 after he hit her when she was recovering from a surgery.
She also said that he had placed tracing devices on cars that she used, according to the district attorney's office. They had been separated since Jan. 1, 2020.
Police determined that Torrez had followed the man and woman and approached their car. As Torrez shot at the man, he covered the woman's body with his own.
The woman told police that as Torrez shot her companion, she heard him say “I hope you’re happy with yourself.”
Torrez was found and arrested later on Feb. 21 in Dacano. Police were dispatched to the 3700 block of the I-25 Frontage Road after a vehicle was reported in a field, according to a probable cause statement. Police found Torrez passed out in the driver seat. Police said they smelled alcohol on this breath.
Senior Deputy District Attorney Brian Eckhardt prosecuted the case with Chief Deputy District Attorney Elizabeth Oldham, head of the Domestic Violence unit and one of the prosecutors on the case.
“Mr. Torrez not only stalked the victims in this case, he hunted them. In a planned execution, the defendant shot one of the victims seven times — including twice in the head — while the victim protected the defendant’s estranged wife from the bullets,” Eckhardt said. “This would have been a double homicide but for the strength and determination of the victims.”
The man and woman involved in this case offered a statement. In full, it reads:
“We would like to publicly thank those who worked so tirelessly and tremendously on this case for both of us. From the first officer on scene, to the medics who arrived so quickly, to Dave Sutherland and his amazing team at the Aurora Police Department, and of course to Brian Eckhart and Elizabeth Oldham, the DAs who put so much care into their prosecution and fighting for justice for us as survivors. We will forever be grateful to those mentioned and everyone in between. Gratitude is so forgotten these days, but we are grateful.
And to any woman or any person who might be in a situation of control and abuse: Please get help. You do not have to be in a situation where you’re being beaten for it to get bad, drastically and progressively. If there is extreme verbal, social, emotional and other forms of abuse — stalking and physical abuse will soon follow. Seek help, and get the law involved early. You are not alone, and it is not normal or justifiable to be in a home filled with fear, control and threats. The only reason we are alive today is because of a hero who sacrificed his body, and for the tireless medical efforts along with miracles that kept that hero alive.”