Marine with history of heroism disarmed suspect in Boulder murder; victim shot execution-style

Posted at 11:03 AM, Jun 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-01 14:49:21-04

BOULDER, Colo. – A Marine with a history of heroism disarmed the suspect accused of shooting and killing a man execution-style inside a Boulder bar early Monday morning, then helped try and save the victim’s life as his co-worker subdued the suspect until police arrived.

The affidavit for Louis Joseph Sebastian, 32, was unsealed and released Thursday as Sebastian was formally charged with one count of first degree murder and one count of carrying a concealed weapon.

The affidavit details a night of arguing between him and the victim, 49-year-old Christopher King, originally from San Marcos, Calif.

Affidavit: Suspect, victim had been arguing throughout night

It says the two men had been invited to a Boulder house party earlier Sunday, though several people at the party were uncomfortable with Sebastian being there because of his personality, and King had been invited accidentally by one of the party hosts whom he had “hooked up” with before.

The party broke up around 9 p.m., and some of the people there decided to get dinner and drinks at the Bramble and Hare.

The affidavit says that Sebastian spent much of the night flirting with the woman King had a past with, and that Sebastian and King started further arguing about politics over dinner at the restaurant.

The party at the restaurant continued to drink, and several people at their table talked Sebastian and King out of taking their fight outside at least once.

But by the end of the meal, after another argument over the table’s bill, the two decided to go outside to talk, according to the affidavit.

Nobody followed them, but approximately 10-15 minutes after they went outside, everyone at the bar heard multiple gunshots, and King eventually fell backwards into the restaurant.

Patrons then watched as Sebastian walked in the door after King about 10 seconds later, and shot him twice while standing over him “from approximately 5 feet away,” according to the affidavit. King was pleading with Sebastian to stop, police said.

Bryan Daniels, the chef at Bramble and Hare, and Griffin Farro, the restaurant’s bartender and manager, sprang into action.

Daniels ran toward Sebastian and was able to get ahold of his gun. Though Sebastian struggled, Daniels, who was a Marine for five years, wrestled the gun away—having to hit Sebastian in the eye with the gun’s butt to get him to settle down.

Farro then put Sebastian in a full nelson hold until police arrived. Sebastian was saying while being held down that he was attacked, according to police.

Daniels disarmed the weapon, according to the affidavit, then went to check on King.

Though 911 had already been called, Daniels told those there he had a “military grade” first-aid kit in his car, according to the affidavit. He ran to his car to get it, where he also stored Sebastian’s gun until police arrived.

King, who had been shot in the shoulder and torso multiple times (police said it appeared he was shot four times, though an autopsy is pending), was barely breathing, but Daniels put pressure on King’s torso wound until paramedics arrived. He helped them lift King onto a gurney.

The affidavit says Sebastian immediately told police he had shot King in self-defense, though he didn’t elaborate and requested a lawyer.

Police got the alleged murder weapon back from Daniels—a Sig Sauer 9mm—and recovered eight spent shell casings at the scene.

Man who disarmed suspect received high honor as Marine

Daniels, as it turns out, is no stranger to heroism.

As a lance corporal in the Marine Reserves, he was honored in May 2014 with the nation’s second-highest non-wartime award, the Navy and Marine Corps Medal, for what the Marine Corps called a “life-threatening act of heroism” during an incident in 2013.

In early August 2013, he was working as a food delivery truck driver in Dallas when he happened upon a fiery crash on the highway that happened when a semi-truck drove off an overpass above and onto the highway below.

Since no first responders were around, Daniels rushed to the cab of the truck and broke through the glass to try and save the trapped driver, despite the cab being nearly engulfed in flames.

He peeled back broken glass to try and reach the driver, cutting his arms and hands severely, and tried to rescue the driver until police and other first responders had to pull him away from the truck moments before it exploded. The driver did not survive, despite Daniels’ efforts.

“In my mind there was no choice but to act. I had to see if there was someone still inside,” he told the Marines Force Reserve publication in 2014 after he was honored.

A gunnery sergeant who presented the honor said that while others were running away from the scene, Daniels was seen on surveillance video being the lone person running toward the burning truck.

But even then, as was the case when Denver7 spoke to him on Monday, he maintained he was no hero.

“Honestly it’s kind of hard for me to accept people making a big deal out of it…I wasn’t a hero,” he told the Marine Corps at the time. “I was just trying to help another person.”

Sebastian, meanwhile, remains held without bond pending his next court appearance, which is scheduled for Aug. 7.