(NewsNation) —One gun, a Beretta92FS handgun, popular among Americans, was exchanged between multiple teenagers and young men in Colorado, who used it for various violent crimes including shooting a police officer and a truck driver.
NewsNation affiliate KDVR tracked how the gun traveled from teen to teen, from Denver to Aurora before it was used in violent shootings.
The handgun was used to shoot a police officer in Cherry Hills, Colorado, in 2018. It was then traded or sold between teens multiple times before it was eventually used to shoot a semi-truck driver in Aurora, Colorado, a few weeks later, according to KDVR.
Angelo Alston, who was just 17 years old at the time, had a Beretta92FS handgun, a weapon he tried to sell on Facebook for $400. Police believe he used that same gun to shoot police officer Cory Sack in 2018 during a home invasion and robbery.
Sack was shot at eight times. His femur was shattered by a bullet, ending his law enforcement career. He has undergone 10 surgeries and still has bullet fragments in his body.
Alston was sentenced to 44 years in prison.
Another teen tried to get rid of the gun for Alston, KDVR reported.
Police interrogation videos and records show that Alston handed the gun off to 18-year-old Angelo Herrera. Herrera received a three-year prison sentence for selling the gun after the shooting.
Manuel Tolmich-Chavez, also 18 years old a the time, received the gun from Herrera, according to KDVR.
He told investigators he did not know the gun was used to shoot a police officer and was told the weapon was “hot” and “just to get rid of it.”
Tolmich-Chavez then used Facebook to transfer the gun to another 17-year-old.
“What you got to trade for Beretta92FS,” he wrote in a Facebook message to the boy. “I don’t got no pics It’s hot that’s why I need to dump it’s in good condition,” KDVR reported he wrote in a message.
That boy then received $100 for delivering the gun to 22-year-old Jovan Maciel, who used it to shoot the semi-truck driver in Aurora.
Maciel received a three-year sentence at a community correctional facility. Tolmich-Chavez received a deferred sentence with three years of probation, KDVR reported.
“Younger and younger people seem to be getting a hold of firearms a lot more easily than they used to or are just more willing to use firearms in crimes,” said David Booth, the special agent in charge of the Denver field division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, or ATF.
Investigators were able to use the National Integrated Ballistic Information Network, a national databank of information from bullet casings collected from crime scenes, to track down the firearm.
Lori Jane Gliha, the investigative reporter at KDVR who connected all these dots, said she was able to garner most of the information through a Freedom of Information Act request. And despite most of the people involved being minors, because they were charged as adults, the information was available.
This story was one in a series of five Gliha is working on about teen gun violence in the Denver area. She dug deep into the teen’s social media pages, where she found they were “callous” in the way they talked about guns and taking another’s life.