Three teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder in connection with a rock-throwing spree on Colorado roads last week that led to the death of one driver, the authorities said.
The three suspects, all 18 and identified as Joseph Koenig, Nicholas Karol-Chik and Zachary Kwak, were arrested on Tuesday evening at their homes in Arvada, Colo., for taking part in a series of rock-throwing episodes on April 19 that fatally wounded Alexa Bartell, 20, who was killed when one of the rocks smashed through her windshield and struck her, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office announced on Wednesday.
In addition to murder, the three men are charged with extreme indifference; other charges to be determined by the First Judicial District Attorney’s Office are expected.
It was not immediately clear if the three, who are seniors from different high schools, had lawyers on Wednesday.
The rock-throwing spree began shortly after 10 p.m. on April 19 in Westminster, Colo., which is a city of about 114,000 residents north of Denver, the authorities said.
During that hour, the authorities said, the three drove a pickup truck around the county and threw large landscaping rocks at six vehicles, including a minivan and an S.U.V., hitting their windshields and driver’s side windows. Those drivers had minor or no injuries.
Around 10:45 p.m., Ms. Bartell was driving north on Indiana Street when her Chevrolet Spark, a subcompact, became the last vehicle struck during the spree, the authorities said.
Moments before she was killed, Ms. Bartell was on her phone talking to a friend “when the phone went silent,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Her friend tracked her phone and drove to the location on Indiana Street where she found Ms. Bartell “fatally wounded inside her car, which was off the roadway in a field.”
It was unclear which of the men were driving but “all three are suspected of throwing rocks,” the sheriff’s office said. They were believed to be in a black 2016 Chevrolet Silverado pickup truck.
“Ultimately, mobile device forensics and supporting information from the public helped lead to the identification and arrest of the suspects,” according to the sheriff’s office, which did not release additional details.
The men, who were booked into the jail at the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, are scheduled to appear in court on Thursday.
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