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Aurora man sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting in Castle Rock.

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An Aurora man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for shooting a grocery store customer in the chest in a Castle Rock parking lot.

Hugo Vazquez-Topete, 29, pleaded guilty on Dec. 17 to one count of first-degree assault, a felony, and other counts in the case were dismissed as part of a plea agreement, according to the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.

The shooting happened on August 6, 2019, outside the King Soopers Ridge Road store, according to a DA’s news release. Vazquez-Topete and two others picked up money at the Western Union counter in the store, then went to the store’s gas pumps where words were exchanged with other customers.

The other customers, including the shooting victim, drove off and at a stop light Vazquez-Topete and an associate fired a gun at the stopped car, hitting the victim in the chest.

“In this case, for a perceived minor slight, he (Vazquez-Topete) didn’t hesitate to pull out a gun and fire at a group of people he didn’t even know,” said Jake Adkins, Sr. deputy DA, in the release. “In addition to almost killing the victim, he also endangered numerous people
and showed a complete disregard for the value of human life.”

The day of the shooting, Vazquez-Topete and two others fled the scene in an SUV. The victim, who was taken to a hospital, survived. The victims and the perpetrators did not know each other.

Benito Bautista, 27, of Denver, fired at the victim’s car but did not hit anyone, according to the release. He pleaded guilty on Nov. 3, 2020, to one felony count of attempted first-degree assault. Bautista was sentenced in January to 14 years in prison.

One associate, who was with the Vazquez-Topete and Bautista, “did not participate in the crime and was not charged,” according to the release.

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