AURORA | The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office has identified a teenager who was shot and killed while attempting to break up a fight in an Aurora parking lot last week as Rudy Arguello Rios, 19.
Aurora police said Arguello Rios was shot shortly before 8 p.m. Dec. 22 in the parking lot of the Mariscos El Rey 2 restaurant at 10293 E. Iliff Ave. He died at a local hospital less than an hour later, according to court documents.
A spokesperson for the coroner’s office clarified that the death has been deemed a homicide. Arguello Rios was shot once in the left side of his chest, according to court documents. The bullet struck an artery and one of his lungs.
Investigators have accused 28-year-old Jacqueline De Paz of killing Arguello Rios.
Police initially said “a disturbance in the parking lot” precipitated the shooting, according to a news release. An affidavit filed against De Paz revealed that she, Arguello Rios and several other people engaged in a hand-to-hand brawl outside of the restaurant after a group of patrons complained that their food was cold and refused to pay their tab.
Police believe De Paz and several other people, including multiple children, berated a waitress at Mariscos El Rey 2, claiming that an open door made their meals too cold to eat. The group then left the establishment without paying, at which point the waitress and other patrons who witnessed the encounter — including Arguello Rios — followed the party into the parking lot.
Multiple witnesses said the group of nearly a dozen people began to punch and fight one another in the vicinity. At some point during the fracas, De Paz produced a handgun and pointed it at Arguello Rios as he bent down to help a person injured in the fray, according to Aurora detectives.
De Paz could be heard in video footage saying “Back the f*** up … I got the strap now,” according to the affidavit. Arguello Rios tried to wrestle the gun away from De Paz as she shot him from an undetermined range, detectives and coroner’s officials wrote in the court documents. She then fled the area in a black Mercedes vehicle.
The waitress involved in the altercation “described (Arguello) Rios as a peacekeeper who was yelling at the others to stop being rude and to be respectful,” according to the affidavit.
Aurora detectives used driving records, social media profiles and video captured by witnesses to identify De Paz as the suspected shooter. She was arrested following a traffic stop in north Aurora two days after Arguello Rios was killed. She was booked into the city jail later that day.
De Paz was transferred to the Arapahoe County jail on Dec. 24, a clerk with the municipal detention center confirmed. She remains incarcerated at the Centennial facility in lieu of posting a $1 million bond.
De Paz appeared in court to be advised of the charges filed against her at 1:30 p.m. today.
Police initially arrested her on suspicion of second-degree murder, though prosecutors have since tacked on an additional felony menacing charge and a pair of sentence enhancers that could increase her punishment if she were to be convicted, according to court records.
De Paz is due next in court on Jan. 28 for a preliminary hearing.
Family members of Arguello Rios have launched a GoFundMe page to cover the costs of the teen’s funeral expenses. The page had exceeded its original $10,000 goal as of Monday afternoon.