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Colorado Springs AutoZone attack leads to two arrests

We all remember the night of violent crime that took place in Colorado Springs almost two weeks ago. The three separate incidents on July 27 left four people dead, left three people injured and left emergency responders in the city only able to answer the most serious calls.

The first shooting occurred around 8 p.m. at an AutoZone on Palmer Park Blvd. where one person was found dead in the store's parking lot and a second person was found inside of the store having suffered a gunshot wound.

Colorado Springs police arrested the suspected shooter last week, and he remains in the El Paso County jail. He is being held on suspicion of committing first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, aggravated robbery and second-degree kidnapping.

Police accused the man of trying to steal a van, shooting at two people who tried to stop him and then carjacking another man's vehicle and driving off , taking the owner as a hostage. The hostage was let go unharmed, but one of the shooting victims died and the other was injured.

Last week, the suspect's 35-year-old wife was also arrested and is accused of being an accessory to the first-degree murder allegedly committed by her husband.

The Colorado Springs Gazette reported that the woman likely had posted bail last week because she was no longer listed on the jail roster. Police did not go into detail about her suspected role in the crime.

Being charged as an accessory to a crime is a very serious matter in the state of Colorado, especially when felony murder is involved.

An accessory to a crime is someone who knowingly and voluntarily participates in the commission of a crime, even though they are usually not present at the crime scene. The accessory typically contributes to the completion of the crime either before or after the fact.

Examples of a person who is an accessory to a crime before the fact is one who incites, abets, or aids a person in the commission of a criminal act. Examples of a person who is an accessory to a crime after the fact receives, shelters, comforts, relieves, or assists a felon after the crime has been committed.

Source: The Colorado Springs Gazette, "AutoZone slaying victim was trying to help a stranger," Ryan Maye Handy, Aug. 3, 2011.

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