Police: Traffic incident came before man fired on family
BRIGHTON, Colo. (AP) — A Colorado man accused of opening fire on a family and killing a teenage boy became enraged when a woman tried to pull her SUV into his lane of traffic as an emergency vehicle approached, police said Friday during a court hearing.
Adams County Judge Don Quick did not immediately rule on whether there is enough evidence to send Jeremy Webster to trial for first-degree murder and other charges. The 23-year-old is accused of killing 13-year-old Vaughn Bigelow, Jr. and seriously wounding the boy’s 8-year-old brother and his mother. Another man parked in the dental office lot also was shot.
Webster, who was arrested hours after the shooting, has not entered a plea yet. He is being held in jail without bond.
According to police testimony, 41-year-old Meghan Bigelow was driving her three sons to a June 14 dentist appointment in suburban Denver. As they neared the office in Westminster, Bigelow heard emergency sirens behind her and tried to pull into the right lane. She veered back to the left when she saw a black Toyota Corolla already in that lane.
Police said Bigelow and her middle son, Cooper, later told detectives that Webster yelled at her and sped up when Bigelow tried to get in front of his car. They said Webster followed and pulled up behind them in the dental office’s lot.
Meghan Bigelow told police that she and Webster briefly argued, and as he began to drive away she took a video of his license plate and said she would contact police. At that point, she said, he backed up then got out of the car holding a handgun.
Cooper Bigelow, 12, told police that his mother yelled: “He’s got a gun.” Meghan Bigelow told police she began walking toward her SUV, hoping to lead Webster away from the boys. As she walked away, Webster shot her in the back, police said.
She fell to the ground and remembers hearing more gunshots before being shot in the head, police said.
Witnesses said the shooter walked away from the area at least once, then returned and began firing again, police said.
Vaughn Bigelow died at a hospital. An autopsy found he had been shot in the head and the right arm.
Asa Bigelow was shot at least three times, including one bullet that entered his left cheek and exited on the right side of his face. Meghan Bigelow was shot multiple times in her abdomen and once on the right side of her head.
Police said both needed extensive surgeries. They have been released from hospitals but still are under medical care, detectives said.
Cooper Bigelow was not injured. Police said he led them to the video showing the license plate on Webster’s car, which led to Webster’s arrest later that afternoon.
Police found a handgun in Webster’s trunk and say he admitted to shooting the family. According to an arrest affidavit released in June, Webster also told detectives he had “mental health issues” and began taking a new medication that day.
Quick closed the courtroom to the public for much of the afternoon Friday while he and attorneys reviewed a video of detectives’ interview with Webster after his arrest.
Defense attorneys highlighted a detective’s interview with a psychiatrist treating Webster at the time of the shooting.
The psychiatrist told police Webster had been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and was prescribed antipsychotics and antidepressant medication, Westminster Detective Bernard Bonfeldt confirmed in response to questions from one of Webster’s attorneys. It’s not clear how long Webster had been seeing the psychiatrist or taking medication.