Less than a week after his son was killed in a heated argument with a former police officer in Aurora, Todd Blitstein stood in the street where the shooting took place and choked back tears.
âI want to be where Peyton was last so people can see and hear how we are as a family standing up for what Peyton believed in,â Todd Blitstein told the Denver Gazette Tuesday. âPeyton didn’t like violence.
Peyton Blitstein, 17, died of gunshot wounds, according to the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office, which ruled his death a homicide.
Peyton Blitstein was in a car with four other teenagers around 10:30 p.m. on November 24 when witnesses said a truck with a condom started following them. The driver of the car, a 16-year-old girl, had just finished her job and was heading home to change clothes and buy money for gasoline, according to her mother, Amber Roseborough.
The young girl told her mother that the man driving the truck stopped next to them outside the Roseborough house and complained that they were driving recklessly.
“She said, ‘Mom, this guy is yelling at me for speeding on the street and he called me honey,'” Roseborough said.
Greenwood Village Police have identified the man in the truck as Adam Holen, a police officer who served with the police for five years until he resigned just over three weeks ago.
Holen, 36, was shot and injured in the altercation with Peyton Blitstein. Police continue to investigate the incident.
Todd Blitstein said police knocked on his door around 4 a.m. on Thanksgiving Day to tell him Peyton was dead. âI wanted answers. And what was the situation and where he was. I wanted to reach him as soon as possible and find out where my boy was and hold him.
“It’s every parent’s worst nightmare,” said Peyton’s mother-in-law Cayla Blitstein, who added that Peyton had an infectious laugh and enjoyed singing silly songs. âGive your babies a good kiss. ”
Video from the doorbell shows a car in front of the Roseborough house with its brake lights flashing. Parked next to this vehicle was a light colored truck with its headlights on. An argument arose between Holen and the teens. One of them, the 16-year-old driver, stood on his porch, warning Holen that she was going to call the police and that she had a camera.
A voice says, “I own it all,” then, “This is not your neighborhood. “
About four seconds later, gunshots rang out. It is not clear from the video who fired first, but the footage shows that Blitstein and Holen had handguns. At least eight shots were fired.
At one point, Holen shouted, “He just came up to me and shot me, man!”
Todd Blitstein said on Tuesday: “I didn’t know my son had a gun. I wish he didn’t.”
One of the teens who witnessed the shooting told Todd Blitstein that Peyton pushed him away from the shots. “He told me that when the guy (Holen) got around the corner, Peyton pushed him out of the way and this tragedy happened.”
Records obtained by the Denver Gazette show that Holen began working for the Greenwood Village Police Department on August 22, 2016 and resigned on November 1, 2021, just over three weeks before the shooting. Aurora Police, who are investigating the incident, said Holen no longer worked in law enforcement.
The property records show that Holen is a neighbor of the Roseboroughs. People who live nearby, who declined to be identified, described Holen as a nice guy and added that the cars speeding up the South Addison Way were a problem.
A GoFundMe set up to help the Blitsteins with expenses associated with their son’s death had raised more than $ 3,800 as of Tuesday afternoon.
Todd Blitstein said his son is proud to be a registered member of the Osage Tribe. He wanted to become a Navy and had spent four years doing Sea Cadets, a training program sponsored by the US Navy and the US Coast Guard.
âGetting the facts out is incredibly important,â said Todd Blitstein. “The thing with Peyton is that people have to realize that he was a good boy. Please, thank you, yes ma’am, no ma’am, yes sir.”