Cops: Owner Tracks Stolen Car With App, Kills Boy in Shootout

Denver police investigating the death of Elias Armstrong, 12
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 12, 2023 6:43 AM CST
Cops: Owner Tracks Stolen Car, Kills Boy in Shootout
   (Getty / carlballou)

The owner of a stolen car in Denver successfully tracked down his vehicle with an app but wound up killing a 12-year-old boy in an ensuing shootout, say police. The unidentified driver approached his vehicle once he found it and was "involved in an exchange of gunfire" with its occupants, according to a police statement. The boy later identified as Elias Armstrong then drove the vehicle about two blocks, where police found him inside it with a gunshot wound, reports the New York Times. Elias was taken to the hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

“I know auto theft is a growing issue, not just in Denver but everywhere, and it’s infuriating to be victimized like that,” Denver city councilwoman Jamie Torres tells KUSA. “But I discourage any resident to taking a vigilante approach.” Police continue to investigate the shooting but have not arrested the car's owner. Auto thefts have become a growing problem in Colorado, with the number of reported thefts up 86% between 2019 and 2021, reports the Denver Post. State lawmakers are considering legislation to make all such thefts a felony. (Read more Denver stories.)

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