Editor's Note: This year, Drug War Chronicle is going to try to track every death directly attributable to drug law enforcement during the year. We can use your help. If you come across a news account of a killing related to drug law enforcement, please send us an email at [email protected].]
According to police, undercover narcs were conducting surveillance on Arreola, whom they said was the subject of a drug investigation. Arreola arrived at a house on Macon Street, and at some point, approached one of the officers while carrying a "long gun" and a revolver. The officer radioed in that he was being approached by Arreola, then reported "shots fired" and that Arreola had been shot.
"He was pronounced dead on scene," said Aurora Police spokeswoman Cassidee Carlson. "The officer was not injured."
Carlson said Arreola had been under investigation for illegal drug sales for a couple of weeks. She said it was unclear at this point why Arreola had approached the officer or whether he had fired any shots at the officer.
Arreola's brother Ruben Montano told the Denver Post the next day he had no idea why police were investigating him and that Arreola had gone to the Macon Street address where his mother lived to pick up his three-year-old daughter. He said he saw his brother leave the apartment and then heard seven gun shots.
"I went to go find him," Montano said. "Then I saw my brother shot for no reason."
Arreola was the owner of Neviah Wireless in Aurora. His criminal history consisted of a handful of Denver traffic offenses, a misdemeanor pot possession charge, and a gambling offense for which he served 18 days in jail and a year of probation in Gilpin County in 2007.
The police shooter has not been identified. He has been placed on administrative leave while the incident is investigated.