Teen’s death ruled a homicide

Central High School senior Kassie Bell, left, shelters the flame for Tony Martinez, Troy Martinez’s father, as he speaks to a crowd of several hundred friends and family members during a candlelight vigil for his son Thursday.

A Central High School sophomore who died Wednesday had attended classes that day until school let out around 2:50 p.m., according to School District 51 spokesman Jeff Kirtland.

Approximately 40 minutes later, someone called 911 and told emergency dispatchers Troy D. Martinez, 16, of Clifton, appeared to be fatally wounded.

The Mesa County Coroner’s Office said in news release Thursday that Martinez died of a gunshot wound in what was ruled a homicide. The coroner referred questions to the Mesa County Sheriff’s Department, which said little more in the news release it issued other than to provide a statement from Sheriff Stan Hilkey:

“We offer our sympathy to the family of Troy and to his fellow students at Central High School,” Hilkey said. “This is a great tragedy on many levels for our community.”

The Sheriff’s Department said investigators “will be in no rush” to reach conclusions about what happened and will consult with the District Attorney’s Office. No arrests have been made.

A judge issued a search warrant Thursday allowing law enforcement access inside 619 Susan St. Martinez was found dead near the home’s front porch. The warrant was filed under seal.

Richard Chambers, who lives at 622 Susan St., said Wednesday he rushed to the scene of the incident after hearing a teenage boy repeatedly yelling, “Troy.” Chambers said the same boy who had been yelling also claimed he and his friend had been trying to take apart a .22-caliber round, and it discharged. The boy said they were going to use the gunpowder from the round to “blow stuff up,” Chambers said.

Chambers said he didn’t see any guns or other ammunition in the area, but he had heard a suspected gunshot roughly a half hour to an hour-and-a-half before the incident.


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