DENVER, CO — A man police said fled to Mexico in 2013 after he shot another man in a love-triangle scenario was extradited by the Mexican government and will face first-degree murder charges in Denver. Victor Batazar-Gonzalez, 43, was wanted on a warrant for first-degree murder in the shooting death of Jose Gutierrea-Peredia, 25, at an apartment building in the 1300 block of Mississippi Avenue in September of 2013, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
On Sep. 1, 2013, police arrived at the apartment complex around 10:40 p.m. in Denver’s southwest side and found Jose Gutierrea-Peredia on the ground outside with gunshot wounds, an arrest affidavit said. He was later declared dead at a local hospital. A brother of Jose told police he witnessed the shooting and picked Baltazar-Gonzalez out of a lineup. He said the two had an argument and his brother had been shot several times by Baltazar-Gonzalez with "a small gun."
A woman, age 26, who identified herself as the girlfriend of victim Jose, told police that Baltazar-Gonzalez was a family friend who lived in the apartment complex and with whom she had a brief romantic relationship. She claimed Baltazar-Gonzalez, an older man, confided in a relative that he was "in love with her," according to the arrest affidavit, which caused tension between the two men, she said. She said her boyfriend Jose had been taking out the trash earlier and the two men had argued, at which point, she said she separated them, and Jose had retrieved a baseball bat and stashed it near the front door. Half an hour later, Jose was shot.
A woman who identified herself as the girlfriend of Baltazar-Gonzalez told police he had been beaten up earlier that evening by men at the apartment building. She said she drove Baltazar-Gonzalez away from the building after the incident, and dropped him off a short distance away.
The Denver DA’s office has been seeking extradition with an international warrant since 2014, a statement said. Victor Baltazar-Gonzalez was arrested in Mexico City by Mexican officials and surrendered to U.S. Marshals Feb. 22. Denver police took custody of him at Denver International Airport.
He is now in Denver city jail, without bond and his next scheduled court date is Feb. 27, the DA’s office said.
Image: Victor Baltazar-Gonzalez via Denver District Attorney’s Office.