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Man sentenced to life in prison for Walmart shooting

Ostrem+enters+Denver+Walmart+killing+three+people.+Ostrem+was+inside+the+Walmart+for+less+than+two+minutes.
Ostrem enters Denver Walmart killing three people. Ostrem was inside the Walmart for less than two minutes.

Ostrem enters Denver Walmart killing three people. Ostrem was inside the Walmart for less than two minutes.

Ostrem enters Denver Walmart killing three people. Ostrem was inside the Walmart for less than two minutes.

Emily Hoffman, Ranger Review Reporter

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One year ago on November 1, a Colorado man entered a Denver Walmart and shot three people with a gun, killing each of them. According to KRDO’s news article,   Wednesday October 17, Scott Ostrem, 48, pleaded guilty to three counts of third degree murder and one account of first degree murder, referring to the shoppers and employees who were endangered during the time of the shooting.

The event took place when Ostrem entered a Walmart located at 9901 Grant Street in Thornton, just after 6 p.m. Using a handgun, Ostrem fired seven shots in an approximate twenty second time span, then exited the store. Before the shooting took place, police said Ostrem practiced target shooting for four hours at a range. The motive for the shooting still remains unknown. All three victims were Hispanic while Ostrem is white; however, the prosecutors did not charge him with a hate crime. Police also say there is no evidence suggesting a terrorist attack.

Many people described him as lonely and angry; his neighbors said he often cursed at people and he never left his apartment complex without a shotgun in hand.

According to KRDO’s article, the 48-year-old also has previous records including arrest for harassment, weapons, resisting arrest and an assault on a officer, the charges in which were all dropped. In 2015, Ostrem also filed for bankruptcy, with more than $85,000 in debts.

In August, Ostrem offered to make a deal in which he would plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty. KRDO’s article said that the deal requires a life prison sentence without the possibility of parole. Adams County District Attorney, Dave Young, said he spent much time debating to seek death penalty against Ostrem. In order to consider the plea deal, before the hearing held on Wednesday, Young met with the victims’ families and other people in the store at the time.

On Friday October 19, a judge sentenced Ostrem to three consistent life sentences along with 48 years of life in prison without parole, which was part of the deal Ostrem made to avoid the death sentence. Twenty family members of the victims spoke at the hearing and Young hopes that Ostrem’s sentence will allow them to receive closure.

Those killed are Carlos Moreno, 66, Pamela Marquez, 53, and Victor Vaquez, 26.

KRDO revealed that Marquez lived in Denver and was a grandmother. Moreno, was a grandfather and worked in Thornton as a maintenance worker. Vasquez had two young daughters with a third one on the way, according to the GoFundMe page set up for their family.

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About the Writer
Emily Hoffman, Ranger Review Reporter

Emily Hoffman is a senior at Lewis-Palmer High School and is a Ranger Review reporter. She enjoys Taekwondo which she has been doing for almost twelve...

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Man sentenced to life in prison for Walmart shooting