Updated at 11:31 a.m. on Oct. 3: An August altercation between a 17-year-old and 14-year-old Josiaz “JoJo” Aragon, led to Aragon’s death, according to Denver police.
At a news conference Saturday, streamed by KMGH-TV, Major Crimes Division Commander Matt Clark said the altercation between the 17-year-old and Aragon, who lived in north Denver, began over the sale of a firearm.
Clark said the pair went to school together and throughout the summer discussed the sale of a firearm. Clark declined to clarify who was the gun buyer and who was the seller.
The two met at the Southwest Recreation Center in the Martson neighborhood, where the 17-year-old assaulted Aragon, robbed him and killed him, according to Clark. The teen was arrested last Friday and charged with first-degree murder.
Denver police said the teen, who’s name hasn’t been released because of his age, also faces charges of aggravated robbery, tampering with physical evidence and possession of a handgun by a juvenile.
Aragon’s body was found in August near the baseball field at the Southwest Recreation Center in the Martson neighborhood. Denver’s Medical Examiner said Aragon’s cause of death was multiple sharp and blunt force injuries with a gunshot wound.
Aragon’s death marked Denver’s 60th homicide of the year. As of September 19, there have been three additional homicides, bringing the total to 63. At this time last year, Schepman said there were 68 deaths.
Recently retired Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen previously said the city is on pace to exceed last year’s homicide totals, 96, and may break the city’s all-time high of 100 homicides set in 1981.
Schepman said the leading cause of homicides this year have been arguments that escalated to homicides.