Centennial gas station homicide, robbery suspect arrested

Tips led investigators to person who allegedly shot clerk in Centennial

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Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office investigators arrested a person suspected of fatally shooting a gas station clerk in a robbery the night of Nov. 26 in Centennial, the sheriff's office announced Dec. 11.

Investigators received numerous tips related to the identity of the suspect and were able to obtain warrants and arrest the suspect on Dec. 11, the sheriff's office said in a news release.

The sheriff's office did not release the identity or a photograph of the suspect in the release.

The suspect was described previously as a white male who appeared to be in his mid-20s and wore a gray hoodie, a black-and-white plaid shirt or jacket, gray pants, and tan shoes, according to the sheriff's office. He appeared to be between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-7, wore eyeglasses and has an average build, according to an earlier news release.

After walking into the convenience store at 8263 S. Quebec St. — near East County Line Road, just north of Highlands Ranch — the suspect “asked for cigarettes then asked for everything,” the sheriff's office said in a tweet.

Surveillance video shows that the suspect and the clerk spoke for a short time, according to an earlier sheriff's office news release. The suspect then pointed a handgun at the clerk, who put cigarettes and money from the cash register in a shopping bag, according to a sheriff's office news release. When the clerk handed the suspect the bag, the suspect shot him. The suspect then left the store. Authorities received a call about the shooting at 6:47 p.m.

The clerk died after sustaining a gunshot wound to the left abdomen. He was identified as Mauricio Omar Perez, 24, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office.

Another gas station in Centennial on East Arapahoe Road was also robbed the same day in an incident where the suspect fired a single round into the ceiling, according to the sheriff's office. It was unclear if the suspect authorities arrested Dec. 11 is also suspected in that incident.

No other employees or customers were in the store at the time of the first shooting on Quebec Street, said Deputy John Bartmann, a spokesman for the sheriff's office. But citizens later came in, found the clerk and called 911.

Deputies searched the area with the assistance of the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and the Lone Tree Police Department, according to the news release.

The second gas station in Centennial that was robbed on that same day by a suspect with a somewhat similar description sits on East Arapahoe Road near South Havana Street, according to a sheriff's office news release on Nov. 30.

At about 4:30 pm, a male entered the Conoco gas station at 10210 E. Arapahoe Road in central Centennial and pointed a handgun at the clerk, according to the sheriff's office. The clerk gave the suspect the cash drawer, and then the suspect fired a single round into the ceiling, the release said. The clerk was not injured and the suspect left southbound on foot from the area.

That suspect was described as a white male between 5-foot-3 and 5-foot-7 with a medium build who wore a gray sweatshirt with neon lettering on the front, gray pants, gray shoes, a black face mask and tan work gloves, according to the sheriff's office.

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