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Affidavit: Man who opened fire at Elijah McClain protest in Aurora appeared in 'shock' after shooting

Man bonded out of jail Tuesday, next hearing is Aug. 15
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Posted at 10:53 AM, Jul 31, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-31 12:53:43-04

AURORA, Colo. — The Aurora Police Department said they are investigating four counts of attempted murder against the man suspected of opening fire at an Elijah McClain protest on Saturday.

According to an affidavit of probable cause for an arrest warrant for Samuel Young, police believe he committed four counts of attempted first-degree murder and two counts of first-degree assault. The affidavit was issued on Monday.

Young, 23, is suspected of shooting two people during a march calling for justice in the death of McClain in Aurora on July 25. He allegedly fired a gun as the driver of a Jeep drove into the crowd that was marching on Interstate 225. Young was arrested Monday and bonded out of jail on Tuesday.

The police department said as of Thursday evening, it hadn't determined any charges against the driver of the Jeep.

According to the affidavit, on July 25, protesters met at the Aurora Police Department headquarters and walked eastbound on E. Alameda Avenue and onto northbound I-225. They blocked all northbound lanes and then southbound lanes. At 7:01 p.m., the police department received a 911 call "about a car trying to ram protesters" in the northbound lanes, according to the affidavit. One of the protesters then shot at the car as it drove past the crowd. Two protesters were injured in shooting — one was shot in the leg and another person was shot near their temple, according to the affidavit.

Both injured people were transported to the University of Colorado Hospital.

An Aurora officer spoke with a protester who said she had been standing next to the shooting suspect and described him as a white man in his 20s with blonde, curly hair, blue jeans and glasses. She described the firearm as an "old school wild west gun," according to the affidavit. She told the Aurora officer that the man started to fire at the Jeep, which she estimated had been driving 60 or 70 mph at the time. She said she wasn't sure how many rounds he shot.

Afterward, the witness said the man put the gun back in his pocket and "entered a state of shock," according to the affidavit. He fell to the ground, she said. She told the Aurora officer that she believed the man was "horrified at what he did." She said she told him to dump the bullets off the side of the highway because she was afraid somebody would try to use the gun against him or that he would shoot himself, according to the affidavit. She said he emptied the spent rounds from the firearm and dumped them over the side of the highway onto grass.

A second witness told police he had been six feet from the shooter. He said the man, who appeared in his 20s, was holding a revolver with a wood handle. The man said he saw the suspect open fire at the Jeep, but noted that the suspect was never in danger of being struck by the driver, according to the affidavit. He said the man collapsed to his knees after the shooting and appeared exhausted and disoriented. He said he saw another person help him empty the gun and dump the casings.

The second witness told police he had several photos of the suspect from right after the shooting. He gave those photos to police and those pictures were published on the police department's social media pages and distributed to media.

The day after the shooting, on July 26, an Aurora detective went to the area where it happened and located five empty .38-caliber casings in the grass.

At 11:43 p.m., a public safety employee with the city of Aurora called the police department to report that a man had called them to say he was the person of interest and would talk to police with legal representation, according to the affidavit. The man had identified himself as Samuel Young, 23, of Wheat Ridge.

That same evening, police released photos of the suspect from a witness and by Monday, they had confirmed Young as the person of interest.

Young was arrested on Monday on four counts of attempted homicide and two counts of first-degree assault. He was held at the Jefferson County Jail on a $75,000 bond and bonded out on Tuesday evening.

He has a court hearing on Aug. 14. Young has not yet been formally charged.