Search continues for suspect in fatal shooting in Littleton

Witness: Suspect was jealous of victim

LITTLETON, Colo. - Littleton Police are still looking for a gunman, who they say shot and killed a man who recently moved into the house the suspect had been booted out of.

Police have issued an arrest warrant for 32-year old Joshua Hoppe.  That warrant lists charges of Murder 1 after Deliberation, two weapons violations and two counts of violent crime.

The shooting happened Wednesday night on the 500 block of W. Peakview Avenue.

Homeowners Donald and Marie Schenkeir told 7NEWS that the victim, James Robert Barnes, was renting a room from them.

“He was a friend of my daughter’s,” Schenkeir said.

When asked if Barnes was his daughter’s boyfriend, Schenkeir replied, “Just a friend.”

He says the suspect, Josh Hoppe, is his daughter’s ex-boyfriend.

“He lived here until about a year ago,” Schenkeir said. “When he started getting violent with my daughter, we asked him to move out. He did.”

Schenkeir says Hoppe may have thought that Barnes was more than just his daughter’s friend.

“He came up to the house Wednesday night and said, ‘Tell Jimmy to come out or I’m coming in.’”

He said Barnes came out of the house carrying a chain and a machete and that Hoppe pulled out a gun.

“I think it was a sawed-off .22 rifle,” Schenkeir said. “Jimmy looked at Josh and said, ‘Oh, you’ve got a gun.’ Josh said, ‘Yeah,’ then he raised it and fired.”

Schenkeir says Barnes fell to the ground.

“I grabbed a wash cloth and put pressure on the wound and then he stopped breathing, so I performed CPR,” Schenkeir said. “I got him breathing again and then he stopped, so I did CPR again and got him breathing once more.  He was breathing when the ambulance got here, so I thought, ‘he’s going to make it.’ But he didn’t.”

Schenkeir says he learned within the last 24 hours that Hoppe had been threatening the victim with text messages.

“I wasn’t aware of it, until this happened,” he said. “Investigators took all our phones.”

He says after the shooting, Hoppe took off running down the street.

When asked if he knew whether police had recovered a weapon, Schenkeir said, “They found it on Caley Avenue.”

Schenkeir told 7NEWS that the 24 hours have been very trying on him and his family.

“We didn’t get much sleep last night,” he said.  “We were talking to police.”

He said they spent much of the day Thursday wondering “what if?”

“My daughter wonders if Josh would have fired the shot if she had been standing between him and Jimmy,” he said. “I wonder what would have happened if Jimmy hadn’t come out with a machete and chain.”

He said Barnes was renting a room from them because the people he had been living with moved to Granby.

“He wanted to stay in this part of town and be close to his job,” Schenkeir said. “So we rented him the room.  Josh didn’t like him living here.”

Schenkeir said Hoppe was prone to mood swings around other people.

“He was never angry around me,” he said, “but around others, he’d be calm and nice and then all of a sudden get real angry.”

When asked if he thinks Hoppe has left the state, Schenkeir replied, “His family is here.”

Hoppe is described as a white male, 5 feet 10 inches, 200 pounds with multiple tattoos and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a black, long sleeved shirt. 

Anyone who knows Hoppe’s whereabouts is asked to contact Littleton Police.

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