Three men have been arrested for murder in Colorado in connection to a series of rock-throwing incidents that killed 20-year-old Alexa Bartell last week.
Bartell was killed on the night of April 19 while driving in Westminster, Colo., outside Denver, when she was struck by a large rock that was thrown through her windshield. At least six similar incidents were reported that night, leading to investigations by multiple local agencies.
Soon after, police said they had found a light-colored 4-door 2003-2005 Dodge Ram and identified a driver who may have been involved.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office investigators said Wednesday that three high school seniors had been arrested for allegedly throwing the landscaping rock that killed Bartell.
Bartell’s was the last car “struck by large landscaping rocks” during the spree, which lasted about an hour. At least two other drivers were injured.
Bartell was on the phone with a friend when she was hit. Investigators said the rock-strike killed her, not any subsequent crash.
Joseph Koenig, Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik and Zachary Kwak — all 18 — were arrested at their individual Arvada homes. Arvada is a town about 5 miles from Westminster. All three are enrolled in public schools in Jefferson County — one at Ralston Valley, one at Standley Lake and one in an online program.
The sheriff’s office also clarified that the suspected vehicle is a black 2016 Chevy Silverado. It’s still not known which of the men was driving the truck during the rock-throwing spree, but all three were charged with first-degree murder by extreme indifference and are expected to face additional charges.
The sheriff’s office said tips from the public and mobile device forensics helped identify the three suspects and led to their arrests. They are expected to make their first court appearance on Thursday.
Westminster Police, Arvada Police and the Boulder County Sheriff’s Office assisted in the investigation.
“Investigators were glad to be able to notify Alexa’s family and the other victims of these arrests. This week’s recognition of Crime Victims’ Rights reminds us of the courage and resilience of crime victims, including the Bartell family. They are our motivation,” the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.
©2023 New York Daily News. Visit nydailynews.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.
This content is published through a licensing agreement with Acquire Media using its NewsEdge technology.