DENVER — A mother is ready to see that justice is served after, while driving down a Denver road, a suspect allegedly shot at her car, striking her 13-year-old son, who has autism and epilepsy.
The boy had just finished his first day of ninth grade at Denver School of Innovation and Sustainable Design.
Kiri, the mother of the injured boy, sat down with Denver7 on a stoop near the shooting scene from the day prior. Her son, Kamorin, sat next to her, his arm in a sling. (Denver7 is honoring Kiri's request to leave out their last names.)
Kiri, a mother of four, said Kamorin is her youngest son and has autism and epilepsy, something he described as difficult.
"A lot of things scare him," Kiri said. "And now I think he's just going to be scared more. But he really likes his high school and you're super excited to go back?" Kamorin responded, "Yeah." He hopes to return to classes next week.
Kiri said on Monday around 4 p.m., she was driving down E. 14th Avenue when she spotted a man she had never seen before screaming in the middle of the road around the intersection with N. Ogden Street, a few blocks northwest of Cheesman Park.
"Not saying words, just, 'Ahh!' at the cars," she said.
Kiri said she had to hit her brakes to avoid hitting the man. She maneuvered around him and continued down 14th.
"And then like a block down — 17 rounds," she said. "(My son) was just like, 'I'm bleeding, I'm bleeding.' There was a cop driving on one of the side streets and he came to help us."
According to the Denver Police Department, Kamorin was stable after the shooting. Denver Public Schools added that his injuries were not life-threatening.
DPD said Katrelle James, 22, was taken into custody on Monday evening along the 1000 block of E. Colfax Avenue. He is being held on investigation of attempted first-degree murder.
Kamorin, wearing a sling on Tuesday, pointed at his right arm to illustrate where the bullet had hit him. His mother explained that the bullet had entered through the back of his arm, broke his bone, came out near his bicep and entered the top of his forearm. The hospital was able to remove the bullet, Kamorin said, but he stayed in their care until midnight. His arm still hurts and he had a frightening flashback last night, he said.
In one word, he said the day was "chaotic." His mom added "scary."
"That's my baby," Kiri said. "Now that I see my car, I'm just thankful that it wasn't worse.... It has a lot of bullet holes in it."
She said the car was torn up from the gunshots and covered in blood. While she will get rid of the car, she's thankful her son is OK.
"He's the sweetest," Kiri said. "For being a teenager, he's a sweet one."
Now, she's hoping justice is served.
James appeared in a yellow jumpsuit during a virtual meeting Tuesday from the Van-Cise Simonet Detention Center in Denver.
He sobbed as the judge explained that he could face at least one, but possibly two, charges of attempted first-degree murder in connection with the shooting.
An attorney explained that James has almost no criminal history and has a place to stay with a friend. James and his mother have been trying to secure a place and her housing was recently approved, so James may be able to stay with his mom.
The attorney also said James has a job as a chef at a local restaurant and just lost a baby to miscarriage, so she requested a lower-than-scheduled bond.
The prosecutors said that the facts of the case were "fairly aggravated," adding that the firearm was allegedly shot from the middle of the street at a minor.
"I think this type of incident presents a huge public safety risk," the people said.
They said they were not asking for a specific protection order, but for a general protection order, a guideline, cash-only bond and maximum supervision.
In the virtual meeting, Kiri asked to speak and remain anonymous.
She asked for no bond, adding that police at the scene picked up nine rounds and her car was shot four times, in addition to her son being shot. She added that her child has autism and epilepsy.
James cried into his hands upon hearing this.
"He was just in the courtroom crying," Kiri told Denver7 after the hearing. "Acting like a baby, but he wasn't acting like a baby when he was shooting that 9mm in the middle of 14th."
In the hearing, the judge said "this does implicate a huge community safety issue." He noted that a probable cause statement showed police had found five spent 9mm shell casings at the scene, but there may be more — "plenty to cause mayhem" on the street, he added.
The child was not doing anything and was simply a random victim, "which is appalling," he said.
He acknowledged the mother's request for no bond, but said because nobody died, he was unable to do that. Instead, he set the guideline cash-only bond for $100,000. He also ordered James to have maximum supervision, home confinement and no possession of weapons.
Crying into his shirt, James said, "I'm so sorry" before walking off screen.
Scott Pribble, the director of external communications for DPS, said a mental health team is available this week at DSISD to provide support to students.
Anyone with information on the shooting is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.