Suddenly, the three teens came running down from the second floor. Marcus Duran was carrying a loaded pistol. As he neared the front door, about five feet away from Kutchin, Duran brandished the loaded gun and aimed it at the homeowner. Duran was still inside Kutchin’s home.
“And I just reacted in a defensive stance and took a shot,” said Kutchin.
The round missed its target. Kutchin said he could see Duran’s pistol.
“I saw a gun pointed at me and I shot,” said Kutchin.
The second round found its mark, hitting Duran in the head. The two other teens fled. Kutchin, who has first aid training, tried to administer medical assistance to Duran who had fallen on Kutchin’s front stoop. But the teen was dead.
“There were some errors in judgment made on that night when the individuals entered my house. I’m not a vigilante,” says Kutchin.
“I’m a law abiding homeowner that happens to be armed,” said Kutchin, in his first interview about the shooting.
Asked if he would do the same thing again, Kutchin says he would.
The Denver District Attorney’s office cleared Kutchin of any criminal wrongdoing, ruling his actions were justified under Colorado law.
But across town, Marcus Duran’s mother, Cynthia Gonzales, is still questioning what happened that night.
“I don’t understand why he (Kutchin) couldn’t have done a warning shot or shot him in his leg. They didn’t fire shots. They were scared and running out when it happened,” said Gonzales.
Darrell Kutchin said there was no time for warning shots or shooting to wound.
“I saw a gun pointed at me and I shot, no time to think about shooting him in the leg. And if you fire a warning shot, you are putting your neighbors in harm’s way,” said Kutchin.
Besides said Kutchin, in the time it would take to fire a warning shot, he believes Duran could have shot and killed him.
“My Godson did wrong, but he didn’t deserve to die,” said Phyllis Chavez, Duran’s godmother.
“I don’t think it was fair the way he(Kutchin) shot freely. Do it in the air. Why was he aiming at them if they are running away? That’s the part I don’t understand,” said Chavez.
“It happened so quickly it was reactive, instinct,” said Kutchin.
He said there was no time to ponder options or deliberate.
“My life was in harm’s way. There’s no doubt in my mind if I wasn’t in the presence of mind to defend myself I wouldn’t be here today,” said Kutchin.