Commerce City man charged with first-degree murder in shooting of alleged burglary suspect

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DENVER – Prosecutors on Friday formally charged a Commerce City man with first-degree murder in the fatal shooting of a burglary suspect on Feb. 8.

William Paul Schuette, 20, is accused of shooting and killing a 24-year-old man on Monday in the 10700 block of Belle Creek Blvd.

Commerce City police said that several suspects had burglarized the Haraf Foods Market just before 5 a.m. Monday. As they were leaving the store, according to an affidavit for his arrest, Schuette allegedly woke up, went to the landing outside his apartment and started shooting.

He told police he had yelled at the alleged burglars to stop before he fired his weapon and that people had tried to kick in his door the day beforehand.

Schuette told officers he started shooting because “those people scared the f— out of me.”

The man who was shot and killed was found dead inside a crashed Volkswagen sedan not far down the street from the market. Two other alleged suspects fled the scene, police said.

According to the affidavit, Schuette turned himself into police at the scene. Officers seized an AR-style rifle from his apartment, according to the documents.

According to the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office, a preliminary hearing for Schuette is scheduled for March 5.