Police named a second suspect last week in a 2004 drive-by murder they believe prompted the witness-silencing slaying of two CSU alumni engaged to be wed. Officers stopped short of saying the suspects of the first shooting were linked to gangs, but did not deny it.
"What we're looking at isn't, 'Is this guy a gang member?'" Aurora Police Officer Marcus Dudley said Tuesday. "It's, 'Did this guy commit a murder?'"
Sir Mario Owens, 20, who was allegedly the second shooter in a murder that CSU graduate Javad Marshall-Fields witnessed, is still at large, police said. However, no suspects have been named in the murders of Marshall-Fields and his fiance, Vivian Wolfe.
Marshall-Fields, 22, was prosecutors' sole witness in their murder case against Robert Keith Ray, 20, who was accused of wounding Marshall-Fields and killing his friend, Gregory Vann, on July 4, 2004. Marshall-Fields and Wolfe were gunned down in Aurora on June 20, about a week before he was set to testify.
Although no suspects have been named in the couple's murder, Dudley said detectives are continuing to investigate the case. He would not comment on whether they suspect gang members were involved, saying that is not the focus of the investigation.
However, Dudley said, "We're definitely looking into those aspects."
Metro-Denver Crime Stoppers, a non-profit group that raises reward money for information that helps solve unsolved crimes, is offering $12,000 for help that leads to an arrest in the killings of Marshall-Fields and Wolfe.
Following the double murder, family, friends and members of the CSU community plunged into grief. Tuesday his friends remembered Marshall-Fields as a responsible, social spark with tons of class.
Friend Donovan Healey said Marshall-Fields and Wolfe planned to move to Virginia after he testified in the murder trial.
"He had a whole plan just to succeed in life, you know, coming where he came from: a rough area in Aurora," said Healey, a senior natural resources major.
Healey recalled a group trip to celebrate the New Year in New York City. After partying the night away on a rooftop near Times Square, the group had to catch an early first-class flight home.
To his friends' bemusement, at 5 a.m. Marshall-Fields put on a suit and tie. They asked him what he was doing.
"He said, 'It's first class, baby!'"
Tommy Goodish, a Denver resident who knew Marshall-Fields for 12 years and graduated CSU with him last year, said his friend contributed immensely to the community and to CSU Black Student Services.
"For one thing, he was my best friend. He was the star out of all of us… I don't know; I can't even put my finger on it," Goodish said. "He just made it fun and exciting. I miss him a bunch and I just wish he was still here. I hope no one up there in Fort Collins forgets him."