Aurora, CO

Jury convicts 22-year-old in hotel shooting that killed 1, injured 3

Heather Willard
Photo byAurora Police Department

Heather Willard / NewsBreak Denver / Jan. 30, 2023

(Aurora, Colo.) An Arapahoe County jury convicted a 22-year-old man of killing one and injuring three others during an early-morning hotel shooting on Oct. 2, 2021, in the 12000 block of East Colfax Avenue.

Luis Martin Estrada, 22, was found guilty of one count of first-degree murder, four counts of attempted murder, two counts of first-degree assault, three counts of felony menacing and one count of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.

A co-defendant, Ruben Mejia-Soto, pleaded guilty in May 2022 to one count of accessory to a crime (for trying to hide the gun in the hotel parking lot) and one count of harassment.

According to court records, Aurora Police responded to the Hyatt House Hotel at about 2 a.m. on Oct. 2, 2021. Officers located multiple victims with gunshot wounds on the hotel's ground floor, transporting four individuals to a local hospital.

One man, Angel Ruiz, 18, died from his wounds.

“Angel Ruiz died in that hotel room not knowing the name of the person who fired through the door or even seeing the face of his killer, but the jury did, and they held Mr. Estrada accountable for his extremely violent behavior,” said 18th Judicial District Chief Deputy Attorney Gary Dawson.

According to court records, officers found Estrada and Mejia-Soto were at the hotel for a party in a room on the sixth floor. Shortly after arriving, there was a disturbance, and the pair were shoved into the hallway. Investigators determined Estrada fired multiple shots at the door, which passed through, striking the four victims.

Officers found ten fired shell casings and two live 9mm rounds in the hallway. While hotel surveillance cameras did not show the shots being fired, investigators obtained footage showing Estrada leaving the scene with a gun in his hand seconds after the shooting. One eyewitness in the hallway identified Estrada as the shooter, and several other witnesses who saw the shooting and were threatened by Estrada as he left the scene described the clothing of the shooter, which matched the clothes Estrada was wearing.

“Instead of walking away, Mr. Estrada decided to fire multiple shots into a crowd of people who were just behind the hotel room door,” said Dawson. “When you consider the small size of the hotel room, how many people were inside and how many times this defendant fired into it, it’s a miracle that more of these young people were not killed.”

“This defendant should have never been in possession of a firearm to begin with,” District Attorney John Kellner said. “His selfish actions put every partygoer that night in harm’s way, including the innocent hotel guests staying there. Life in prison is the only appropriate sentence.”

Estrada is scheduled to be sentenced on March 23. He faces life in prison.

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Public safety reporter in DougCo, Denver metro. Previously: Pueblo Chieftain public safety reporter, Athens Messenger associate editor. Caffeine fiend, cat mom and lover of all things spooky.

Broomfield, CO

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