Photo of Jesse Flores from a GoFundMe page set up to help Flores’ family cover funeral expenses.
The Gillette Police Department (GPD) will not be pursuing charges in the shooting death of a 24-year-old man per a statement released to the media Wednesday.
Jesse Flores died Jan. 31 from a single gunshot wound to his chest, GPD stated, after being shot by 21-year-old Steven Peterson.
At 3:47 a.m. that morning, Peterson reported that a shooting had occurred at 3509 Crestline Circle. He reported that he had shot his friend, Jesse Flores, who needed medical attention in the living room, according to GPD.
Flores was transported to the Campbell County Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, where he was pronounced dead.
“Police detectives and special agents with the Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation processed the scene at the residence. An autopsy conducted on Wednesday, Feb. 5, confirmed Flores died of a single gunshot, which entered his upper right chest and exited the left side of his mid- to-upper back,” the release stated.
Peterson and 20-year-old Dakota Collea, who was also at the residence at the time of the shooting, were both taken to the police department and fully cooperated with the GPD investigation, the release noted.
Officers determined through interviews with the two men that the three men had only been in Gillette for a couple days and were up from Torrington to remove Peterson’s property from the Crestline address where he had previously rented a room.
Interviews also revealed that the three men had been consuming alcohol and smoked marijuana during the evening hours that led up to the shooting, the release further stated, and that Peterson and Flores had begun arguing at some point, which escalated with Flores threatening Peterson.
Due to the threat, Peterson locked himself in his bedroom, armed with a handgun, bracing the door with his hand as Flores attempted to force the door open with a butter knife, according to GPD.
“During a lull in Flores’ efforts to manipulate the lock, a sound consistent with the cycling of a slide on a handgun can be heard through the closed bedroom door,” the release stated. “Flores returned to the bedroom door and continued to manipulate the lock with the knife. Shortly thereafter, Flores successfully opens the door and Peterson fires one round from his handgun, striking Flores.”
A second semi-automatic handgun was found on a chair in the living room a short distance from the bedrooms, according to GPD Lt. Brent Wasson.
GPD determined through corroborated facts from physical and digital evidence, along with witness statements and a video of events leading up to the shooting, that at the time of the incident, Peterson’s “actions were reasonable” as he “possessed a reasonable fear of imminent serious bodily injury or death,” the release stated, and “as a result, no charges related to the shooting are being pursued.”
GPD will not be releasing any further details about the shooting, Wasson said.