DENVER (AP) — A man suspected of killing four people at his ex-girlfriend’s home in suburban Denver threatened to kill her a week ago, court documents say.
Police were searching Monday for 21-year-old Joseph Mario Castorena in connection with the shooting deaths of three men and a woman in Aurora. Aurora police said neither the ex-girlfriend, identified as Jessica Serrano in an order of protection requested on Oct. 24, nor the two young children in the home were injured in the early-morning shooting Sunday.
Castorina and Serrano have two children together, but they do not currently have custody of them, according to protection order filings filed last week by Serrano and her father, Jose Serrano. Interim Police Chief Dan Oates said at a news conference Sunday after the shooting that the children were out of state with their families and were safe.
He also revealed that Castorena had been ordered earlier in the week to stay away from a “domestic partner” and her home. Police Department spokesman Sgt. Faith Goodrich confirmed on Monday that she was referring to Serrano.
“It was a collection of events that led to this,” Oates said.
Authorities have not released the names of those killed. However, the victims were Jessica Serrano’s twin sister, Jose Serrano, and her husband, cousin Ubaldo Contina told KUSA-TV, who were identified by the parents of the children found in the home and a man who rented an RV. in the property.
In her Oct. 24 petition for a protective order against Castorena, which was granted the same day, Jessica Serrano said that the previous day, Castorena had pulled out a gun and threatened to kill her. She claimed he forced her into a car and did not allow her to go home.
In the application for the protection order, Jose Serrano showed that his daughter did not come home from work on October 22 and that on October 23 she was covered in glass with cuts all over her hands. He claimed that Castorena, who was sitting next to Jessica Serrano’s car, broke the driver’s side window of the car. The document also states that Castorena had earlier threatened to kill her children if she did not give them up.
A woman identified as Jessica Serrano’s sister also requested a restraining order against Castorena, but there is no record of it being granted. It did not mention a specific threat against her, but said she and her family have been dealing with issues between her sister and Castorena for three years.
Within hours of the shooting, police searched a nearby home where Castorena was staying with his family but were unable to find him and found his car unoccupied, Oates said.
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