Colorado man charged after firing at fleeing robbery suspect

A 25-year-old man faces charges after he attempted to stop a fleeing robber Saturday night in Aurora, Colorado, by firing multiple rounds at the suspect.

The armed man, Avery Marquis Nelson, was outside of a Subway restaurant around 7:40 p.m. when a masked robber entered the sandwich shop and demanded money.

Nelson told a local CBS affiliate there was a physical altercation between the suspect and a female employee. He said the woman was punched in the face, slammed to the floor, and kicked in the ribs before the suspect took off with an undisclosed amount of cash. But as the suspect fled, Nelson, who identified himself to reporters as a fugitive recovery agent, followed him.

“I did feel that my life and the lives of the people in my community were in danger,” Nelson said. “So I wanted to stop that person.”

First, Nelson pepper sprayed the suspect, but he kept on running, with Nelson not far behind him. Then, according to Nelson, the suspect slowed down, turned and made a gesture as if he was reaching for a weapon. At that point, Nelson fired multiple warning shots into the air, and when the suspect got into a parked car and drove off, Nelson again fired at the suspect’s car, striking it numerous times.

However, the suspect got away and authorities later found his vehicle abandoned a short distance from where the robbery occurred. Police made no indication there was evidence the suspect had been shot, and now Nelson is facing charges for suspicion of reckless endangerment and discharging a weapon, a local ABC affiliate reported.

“Chasing this guy, firing rounds into the air, shooting at the vehicle, put the public at risk and endangered them,” said spokesman for the Aurora Police Department Sgt. Chris Amsler, who noted it’s not known where shots fired in the air may end up.

“In this situation we would prefer anyone, whether they’re a bounty hunter or not, to be a good witness,” Amsler added. “To get a good description of the suspect, of the vehicle, and then give it to the police when they get there.”

If convicted, Nelson could face up to five or more years in prison and a fine of $10,000 or more. It is unknown if he has an attorney at this time.