Screenshot of 9NEWS YouTube video (Featured: Orest Schur, accused)
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A Space Force technical sergeant in Colorado who served two tours in Afghanistan with the Army is now facing serious charges, including murder, after he allegedly shot at two young teens he suspected of trying to steal his car.
At around 11 p.m. on July 5, 27-year-old Orest Schur and his wife awoke to the sound of a car alarm wailing in their North Aurora neighborhood. When they went to take a better look, they saw two suspects dressed in black attempting to steal Mrs. Schur's Hyundai Elantra. Car theft has been a rising problem in the area recently, and Mrs. Schur later told police that would-be car thieves had already attempted to steal the Elantra twice before.
Orest Schur went to go investigate further while his wife, whose first name has not been reported, called 911. In the next few moments, she told dispatch that she heard the sound of a speeding vehicle as well as a total of three gunshots that sounded like they were fired a few streets away.
Meanwhile, Schur had encountered the two suspects outside. When they saw that they had been caught, they jumped into another stolen vehicle and sped away with Schur in hot pursuit in the Elantra. The suspects soon afterward crashed the Kia Rio they managed to steal to try and evade Schur.
During this time, 911 dispatch received another call from a person who refused to give his name but who claimed to be chasing car thieves. He claimed that the thieves had fired at him during the chase and that he "had shot back at them" while driving, the affidavit said. Police believe the caller was Schur.
When officers arrived at the scene, they found the Rio crashed into a fence but with no one inside. When they did a search of the immediate area, they discovered 14-year-old Xavier Daniel Kirk, who had suffered a gunshot wound to the back and head. He was immediately transported to a nearby hospital, where he died from his injuries.
Another teen, 13, had also been wounded by a single bullet. The young boy supposedly fled the scene and went to a relative's house and from there "self-transported to a local hospital" for treatment. The details of his injury are not known, but he is "expected to survive," the police statement said. The juvenile told authorities that he had just been in the area "minding his own business," according to CBS News, when someone shot him, perhaps mistaking him for someone else.
During their investigation, police found substantial evidence that the Kia Rio had been struck by gunfire. The rear window had been shattered, and there were bullet holes in the trunk, a rear seat, and the driver's seat. Officers also found several shell casings near the crashed Rio and at an intersection close by. All the casings seemed consistent with the 9mm Glock 19 recovered from the Schur residence. Investigators said they found no other weapons at the scene and that Schur's vehicle showed no signs of having sustained gunfire.
Mrs. Schur claimed that after her husband had returned home that night, he was severely affected by the incident and felt "nauseous." Though she admitted that he had perhaps experienced depression in connection with his military service overseas, she did not believe that he had ever been diagnosed with PTSD or any other related condition.
Orest Schur has been charged with one count of first-degree murder and one count of first-degree attempted murder. As of Saturday afternoon, he remains in custody in the Adams County jail on $500,000 bond.
Space Force issued a statement about the arrest to Law&Crime: "Orest Schur is currently stationed at Buckley SFB and is a technical sergeant in the Space Force. The joint investigation is on-going, and the military’s decision on prosecution/discharge will be made after the investigation is completed."
Aurora police also advised those who believe they have become the target of car thieves not to get too involved in apprehending either the suspects or the stolen items. "Your life and someone else's life isn't worth losing over a piece of property," said Aurora police spokesman Matthew Longshore. "We certainly understand that you work hard for your property. We want to make sure that we get it back but we also don't want you taking things into your own hands."
It's a problem Ben Diaz, who lives near the Schurs, knows all too well. Just days before the incident with the Schurs' Elantra, Diaz's Honda had been stolen. Rather than try and recover it himself, Diaz called police. "They didn't want to do anything about it," he claimed. "They said, 'Calm down and call your insurance.'" Though calling police didn't seem to do much good, it still may have been the right decision. "If I would have gone out there and shot them, I would have been the one going to jail," he said.
New details in deadly Aurora shootingwww.youtube.com
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Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.