Delgado-Cruz mug shot, 9/29

Roberto Delgado-Cruz

A 30-year-old man was found guilty by an El Paso County jury Tuesday in the shooting death of a man outside of a Colorado Springs 7-Eleven last year.

Roberto Delgado-Cruz was convicted of first-degree murder in the June 17 killing of 31-year-old Dominique Smith outside the convenience store in east Colorado Springs.

He was sentenced to life in prison, court records show.

Smith and Delgado-Cruz were both at the 7-Eleven at East Fountain Boulevard and South Circle Drive early June 17 when Smith reportedly approached Delgado-Cruz and started a conversation.

According to interviews with police, Delgado-Cruz falsely believed Smith had shot one of his friends.

That conversation developed into an argument, and witnesses said the two stepped outside to settle their differences. At some point, however, Smith took a step toward Delgado-Cruz, prompting Delgado-Cruz to pull out a gun and shoot Smith.

Delgado-Cruz was arrested by Colorado Springs police a day later in the killing.

Delgado-Cruz's attorneys previously argued that he shot Smith in self-defense, after Smith had threatened him. They also claimed Delgado-Cruz was afraid Smith had a gun and would use it to shoot him.

Prosecutors, however, previously cited video surveillance from the convenience store, claiming that Delgado-Cruz had paused for a moment before opening fire on Smith, who they said took a step toward Delgado-Cruz only with his hands up.

People who witnessed the shooting also did not hear Smith make any threats to Delgado-Cruz before he was killed, prosecutors previously argued.

Reporter

Chhun Sun is The Gazette's morning breaking news reporter. A Thailand-born Cambodian-American, he joined The Gazette's staff in April 2015 — covering everything from public safety to sports and outdoors to local/state politics.

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