A Colorado Springs magistrate judge on Wednesday dismissed a case against a man who fatally shot someone allegedly trying to rob him with a BB gun in early October.
On Monday, Colorado Springs police arrested a 26-year-old man already in jail, according to El Paso County jail booking records, on an arrest warrant filed by Colorado Springs police accusing him in the shooting death of 41-year-old Vencenzio Luciano.
According to the affidavit for the arrest warrant, the man, who isn’t being identified because his case was dismissed, was already in custody at the El Paso County jail on unrelated outstanding warrants.
Then on Wednesday, during an advisement hearing, magistrate judge Deborah Pearson dismissed the man’s case on a motion filed by the District Attorney’s Office. Police spokesman Lt. Jim Sokolik said Luciano had attempted to rob the man and that the man had shot him in self defense.
The man was accused of first-degree murder in the Oct. 4 shooting in the 2500 block of Hancock Expressway, just outside the Arbor Pointe apartments, according to the affidavit.
According to an arrest affidavit filed by Colorado Springs police Oct. 20, Luciano arrived at the parking lot of the apartment complex just after his girlfriend, who isn’t being identified for her safety.
The woman told Colorado Springs police in an interview that she was addicted to heroin and had set up a meeting with her dealer, a man she only knew by his Facebook profile name.
The woman told police that when she arrived at the parking lot, she walked to a blue two-door sedan where her dealer, the man originally accused in Luciano’s death, was sitting in the passenger seat. In the driver’s seat, she said, was a heavy-set man, also unidentified while charges pend.
But soon, she said in the affidavit, Luciano, who she said was trying to get her off heroin, approached the car and interrupted them, yelling at her for buying more drugs.
The man and his friend, however, told police they saw Luciano holding a black handgun and believed they were going to be robbed. That gun, police later determined, was a BB gun that looked like a semiautomatic pistol.
Video surveillance from neighboring buildings summarized in the affidavit next showed a muzzle flash from inside the vehicle, and showed Luciano turn and run, shouting for help.
Luciano, police said in the affidavit, was shot at about eight times as he fled the parking lot, and roughly another four after he’d fallen to the ground. Police said in the affidavit the sedan followed Luciano as he fled on Hancock Expressway, continuing to shoot before continuing westbound and fleeing the scene.
According to an autopsy report summarized in the affidavit, Luciano was killed by a gunshot wound to the chest.
Police caught up with the suspect a day later in a northeast Colorado Springs home and took him into custody on outstanding warrants. Following the dismissal of his case on Wednesday, the man said he would work with his defense attorneys to be released.
In an interview with him at the police operations center later that day, the man told police he’d originally heard a shot and thought he’d been hit, adding that he believed his driver had been the one to fire, the affidavit said.
Sokolik said the department doesn’t have any further suspects in the case.