Authorities in Colorado have issued an arrest warrant for a man they believe entered a church and performed a mass shooting that left one woman dead and two pastors injured.
The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit released a statement Sunday announcing an arrest warrant for 31-year-old Jose De Jesus Montoya Villa.
Villa was identified as the suspect who entered Iglesia Faro De Luz on Friday evening and opened fire on the congregation, killing one and injuring two others. At the time, there were about 15 to 20 people inside the church, according to police.
The church, pastored by Remigio Montes, is listed as being affiliated with the Assemblies of God, a Pentecostal denomination.
The arrest warrant is for first-degree murder, with Aurora authorities promising a reward of as much as $2,000 for information that leads to Villa’s arrest.
“We are asking anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Jose to either contact your local law enforcement agency or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous,” stated the police.
On Friday night, police responded to reports of a shooting at Faro De Luz, with witnesses eventually identifying Villa as the man they believe committed the shooting.
Agent Matthew Longshore, public information officer with the Aurora Police Department, said at a press conference Saturday that the two injured men were expected to survive. Authorities said that two men — both pastors — were shot during the attack, according to the Denver-based KDVR. Their identities have not been released.
“We do know right now that there is some sort of relationship between the suspect and one of the victims. That exact relationship is not going to be released at this point,” said Longshore.
“Investigators are working hard to identify this suspect, track him down, and hopefully arrest him … we have investigators from a major crimes homicide unit on scene.”
Longshore said that investigators believe that it was not “just a random shooting” and they are “canvassing the neighboring businesses looking for any surveillance video.”
KDVR reports the victim was Villa’s ex-girlfriend, 36-year-old Adela Madrid. Madrid is remembered as a mother of two who was active in her church. Madrid was a frontline healthcare worker as well as a graduate of the University of Colorado – Boulder.
Madrid’s teenage daughter, Adeya Vidales-Madrid, pleaded with Villa to surrender to authorities.
“I want them to know that I want him to turn himself in or for somebody to give information about him because he took my mom in very cruel way that she did not deserve to go through,” stated the daughter, as quoted by KDVR.