Details emerge in Dotsero volcano shooting
Vail CO, Colorado
EAGLE ” Two men who went to court Tuesday are accused of shooting a shotgun at several people near the Dotsero volcano and wounding one man.
Handcuffed and wearing a blaze-orange jumpsuit, Oscar Azuel Martinez-Huerta, 23, of Avon, licked his lips as he was led into the courtroom in Eagle Tuesday afternoon. He sat next to a woman who translated in Spanish as the next court hearing of he and his co-defendant, Edgar Lozoya-Cardenas, was scheduled for July 15.
Martinez-Huerta shot Gypsum resident Luis Landeros ” who was likely unarmed ” in the abdomen April 26 after an argument and fight at a party near a mobile home park in Dotsero, the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office has said. Landeros was taken to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood Springs and has since been released.
Martinez-Huerta, also known as Jose Antonia Martinez, is an illegal immigrant originally from Mexico and was with Lozoya-Cardenas, 24, of Avon.
Lozoya-Cardenas shot at the vehicle in which Landeros and three other people were “at least four times,” according to an arrest affidavit.
Details in previous reports have been sketchy, but the arrest affidavits, written by Det. Brandon Beaudette of the Eagle County Sheriff’s Office, bring into focus the events of April 25 and 26.
A 15-year-old boy said that he was drinking with Martinez-Huerta and Lozoya-Cardenas at the Dotsero volcano, on a dirt road north of Interstate 70, an arrest affidavit says.
The men had been there since about 9 p.m. April 25, and were shooting a shotgun into the air near a campfire, said the boy, whose name is being withheld.
Three men in a white Chevrolet Tahoe arrived and said “this was their ‘spot'” and told the men to leave, the boy said.
Lozoya-Cardenas and the three men in the Tahoe got into a fight, according to the boy. The boy got an unloaded shotgun out of the car and pointed it at the men and told them to stop, he told police. The men got into their car and left, but the boy said Martinez-Huerta and Lozoya-Cardenas stayed for a few minutes before the three of them left in a white Chevrolet Yukon, according to an affidavit.
Less than a mile down the dirt road, Lozoya-Cardenas drove past the Tahoe and two other cars as Martinez loaded and gave him the shotgun, the affidavit says.
Lozoya-Cardenas stopped, got out of the vehicle and started shooting at the Tahoe, the affidavit says.
When Lozoya-Cardenas started shooting, several people got out of the cars and ran, Beaudette said. But the Tahoe that Landeros and three other people were in drove past Lozoya-Cardenas, who continued to shoot, and down to a shortcut on the road, the affidavit says.
Lozoya-Cardenas got back into the car and drove as Martinez-Huerta took the shotgun, pointed it out of the passenger window and shot Landeros as he tried to get out of the Tahoe car and hide, authorities said.
Martinez-Huerta said, “‘I think I got somebody,'” according to the affidavit.
The boy asked if he had really shot someone.
“‘I kinda felt it,'” Martinez-Huerta replied.
Avon Police pulled over Lozoya-Cardenas in Avon, and the men and boy ” who was later released to his parents ” were taken to jail. A 12-gauge shotgun was found in the vehicle, the Sheriff’s Office has said.
Several shot gun shells and rounds were found at the scene and damage from gunshots was found on the Tahoe in which Landeros had been.
Lozoya-Cardenas said he shot the shotgun twice ” once into the air and another time, though he didn’t know where ” when he was attacked by about “10 big men” at the volcano, affidavits say. However, he also told authorities conflicting stories, an affidavit says.
Affidavits do not say what Martinez-Huerta told authorities ” if anything ” and his public defender, Brian Bradford, did not return messages requesting comment.
This is not the first time Martinez-Huerta and Lozoya-Cardenas have been accused of crimes in Colorado. Martinez-Huerta has a misdemeanor assault case pending in Eagle County, said Jackie Cooper, clerk of court for Eagle County Combined Courts.
Martinez-Huerta was charged earlier in May with one count of felony first-degree assault in connection with the alleged Dotsero shooting.
Lozoya-Cardenas was arrested on a charge of driving while ability impaired by alcohol in 2001 by the Glenwood Springs Police Department and he pleaded guilty to a separate driving under the influence of alcohol charge in 2005, authorities said. He also has multiple traffic offenses, but Colorado Bureau of Investigations records don’t show any assault charges besides those filed in May in connection with the alleged Dotsero shooting.
Lozoya-Cardenas was charged with one count of first-degree assault, six counts of attempted first-degree assault and eight counts of menacing, all felonies, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has said.
Martinez-Huerta is being held in Eagle County jail and has a U.S. Immigration and Customs hold, which means if he is let out for any reason, he will be detained by the agency. Lozoya-Cardenas is being held in the jail on a $100,000 bond.
Staff Writer Steve Lynn can be reached at 970-748-2931 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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