Three friends of a man shot dead at an apartment complex in Lakewood Sunday night after a scuffle over parking pleaded not guilty today to charges related to the incident.
Jorge Perez Barroso, 34; Barbaro Ono, 53; and Roiland Medina, 36, are charged with first-degree burglary and second-degree assault, which carry deadly weapon enhancements. Prosecutors have not yet decided if the man who fatally shot Lazaro Valle-Matos, 36, will face charges because he acted in defense of others.
The drama unfolded at a complex in the 10200 block of 47th Avenue Southwest when Medina’s girlfriend parked behind an apartment resident. The resident asked her to move and then got into an argument with Medina, which ended when Medina allegedly said “I have something for you,” and threatened he’d be back.
About 20 minutes later, Medina, Barroso, Ono and Valle-Matos “knocked loudly” on the resident’s door, according to charging papers.
When the man opened the door, Medina punched him and they began fighting. Witnesses said at some point in the melee Valle-Matos raised a large knife above his head. One of the resident’s friends – who is licensed to carry a concealed weapon – yelled that he had a gun and would shoot.
He fired a single shot, hitting Valle-Matos in the chest. Valle-Matos was found near Medina’s car in front of the complex, where the group ran after the shooting.
Police said they found a knife near the car.
Medina, Barroso and Ono initially gave detectives varying accounts of what happened. Medina claimed he left the complex believing the resident wanted to jump him and returned with his friends “just to talk,” court records say. Ono and Barroso said Medina picked them up asking for help with some guys he had a problem with.