DENVER — The victim in the Oct. 3 carjacking that led to a high speed chase and barricade situation on Interstate 70 in Denver was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nick did not want us to use his name or show his face because he is still concerned for his safety, even though the gunman killed himself after the short standoff with police.
“As I retrieved items from the trunk, I heard words, ‘give me all your money.’ I turned around and first thing I [saw] was literally a pistol in front of my head, probably a couple feet away from me. He was still walking to my direction. It was literally gun to my face and his hand was shaking. I just looked at his face and he was really nervous and emotional at the same time,” he said.
Nick said at first, he thought it was a joke, but after a second, he realized it was real.
“His face told me everything. I silently raised my hands and said, ‘Hey, I’m going to give you everything, just let’s take it easy.’ He told me to give him my wallet and my phone. He still had his gun in his hand and he said, ‘Just go.’ He showed me the direction,” Nick said.
The gunman left the area. Nick went into a business to call 911.
“I was able to memorize his face, how tall he is, but I was completely unable to tell them what type of clothing he had. I think I was just so focused on his face. I wasn’t able to move my eyes from his face or his gun. That was only thing I was worried about at that point in time,” he said.
Police say the victim did everything right in this case. Nick wants to share his story to help protect others from harm.
“When I called police, I pretty much reported my car — make, model, year — I knew my car tag, so I reported that as well. And I told them what direction he was headed to,” he said. “Try to park as close to cameras and businesses. Make sure in a new area, make sure there are people nearby. In this case, a criminal would not take a risk of being seen and reported to police because time is key in such matters. All your belongings is nothing in comparison with your life. You’re going to worry about your belongings afterwards, but just do whatever possible to save your life. And be as calm as possible when talking to police so they have information to stop this individual from doing this to any one else.”
Now, Nick is dealing with panic attacks and retrieving his belongings.
“When all that happened, I was just super obedient to his commands. When someone has a gun pointing at you, there’s not too much things you can do… when the gun is literally in front of your face and the guy’s hand is shaking and he has fury in his eyes. I think it was my instinct. When you see gun in front of your face, you just raise your hand and listen to the guy. At this point in time, he becomes the most powerful man in the world.”
But Nick has no car now, and he depends on his car for work.
“I’m in charge of all of Colorado — so all the way from Fort Collins to Pueblo to the mountain area — so a car is crucial. Otherwise, I cannot go there and close deals. If I don’t have a car, I don’t have a job. That’s pretty much the bottom line,” he said.
Not only is his car evidence, it is severely damaged.
“My car got pretty messed up. The cost to repair my car exceeds the value that I can potentially sell it for. Four windows are gone. There is pepper spray all over my car because they were shooting pepper spray, and then my front two seats are covered in blood because he obviously killed himself inside the car. Two doors are completely smashed, the radiator leaked,” Nick said.
Nick said he had the minimum insurance required by the state, as he was trying to save money, never thinking anything like this would happen.
Nick is trying to spend time with family and friends and focus on more positive things.
“Oct. 3 is my second birthday, I wrote it on the calendar. I am thankful to be alive,” he said.
If you would like to help Nick, email anchor and reporter Deborah Takahara at: firstname.lastname@example.org