Family of 12-year-old Elias Armstrong seek justice in shooting death

The family of a 12-year-old boy who was shot dead in Denver inside a stolen vehicle by the vehicle’s owner held a candlelight vigil Thursday night in freezing weather to memorialize the boy as they called for criminal charges to be filed in the shooting.

On Feb. 5, Elias Armstrong was shot by a man who used a phone app to track an Audi, stolen in northeast Denver, to the Sun Valley neighborhood, where the shooting happened.

On Thursday, Elias’ family, some friends and supporters gathered off of an alley on West 10th Avenue between Decatur Street and Federal Boulevard, where they lit candles, talked about the boy and called for charges to be filed for the shooting.

“I will never get over this. We miss Elias a lot,” said Alicia Henderson, 29, the boy’s sister.

Last week, the Denver district attorney’s office announced that no criminal charges will be filed against the man who fired shots because prosecutors do not believe they could prove his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The DA’s office could not be reached Thursday night. The man who fired the shots has not been identified because no charges were filed.

Denver police have said the man approached the car and got into an exchange of gunfire with people inside it. Emergency responders found Elias shot behind the wheel of the car. He was taken to a hospital, where he died.

“I don’t think Elias deserved to die,” said Thomas Charles Armstrong, the boy’s father. “It is just very wrong that (the man) could take the law into his own hands and be a vigilante.”

Turquisha Armstrong, the boys’ mother, said she has a hard time picturing Elias, whom she described as being small in stature, behind the wheel of the Audi.

“I just can’t fathom it,” she said.

After the shooting, the car was driven a couple of blocks, where it came to a stop on West 10th Avenue. Others who were inside the vehicle fled on foot at the time of the incident, police said. They remain unidentified.

On Thursday night, the Armstrongs urged those who fled the scene to come forward and give a detailed account of what happened, including who fired first.

“I don’t think that it’s right,” Turquisha Armstrong said. “I’m still seeking justice.”

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