‘Please don‘t shoot‘: More witnesses describe downtown Boulder shooting in trial

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More witnesses to a deadly May 28, 2017 shooting in downtown Boulder took the stand at a trial Friday to talk about the escalating arguments between the two men involved and the shooting itself.

Louis Sebastian, 33, is being tried in Boulder District Judge Andrew Hartman‘s court on a charge of first-degree murder in the shooting death of Christopher King, 49. Sebastian also is facing one count of carrying a concealed weapon without a permit.

Sebastian has claimed self-defense.

In the fourth day of testimony in Sebastian‘s trial, prosecutors called on Lindsay Oberst, who was at the Boulder croquet party where Sebastian and King met prior to the shooting.

Oberst‘s boyfriend and a woman named Leah Akin were the cohosts, with Oberst‘s boyfriend inviting Sebastian and Akin inviting King.

Oberst said she saw Sebastian and Akin making out and flirting at the party during the day. When some of the partygoers — including Sebastian, King and Akin — later that night decided to go to the Bramble & Hare to eat, Oberst said the group was seated in a booth at the back of the restaurant, which is at 1970 13th St.

Oberst said Akin slid into the booth and that Sebastian started to follow her, but King said he would be sitting next to Akin. Oberst said during the meal she saw King and Akin kissing, but did not know if Sebastian was there to witness this.

While Oberst didn‘t hear exactly what led up to it, she said Sebastian and King began to argue.

“It got heated at some point,” Oberst said. “I definitely heard some insults going back and forth.”

Oberst said Sebastian asked to take things outside, but King said it wasn‘t the time. Oberst testified things calmed down a bit, but got heated again when the bill came and some at the table felt King, who ordered an appetizer, entree and two bottles of wine, needed to put in more.

“We felt like he should have paid more, so there was a little bit of dispute about that,” Oberst said. “There definitely was some tension about that.”

Oberst said Sebastian confronted King about the bill, and the two once again began to argue. This time when Sebastian said they should take it outside, the two left.

“It wasn‘t calming down,” Oberst said. “We had tried and it wasn‘t being resolved.”

Christopher King

Oberst said despite the size differential, she felt Sebastian would beat King up because she knew Sebastian was “very strong.” She also testified she did not believe the two were leaving to go home, as King left some items behind and neither said goodbye to anyone else in the group.

Shortly after that, Oberst said she heard the shots.

‘No, please no‘

Jordan Crumby, who was eating with friends at a table in the restaurant, testified she heard the shots and then saw a man come inside and fall down and “crabwalk” backwards.

“He stumbled in and fell backwards and was on the ground,” Crumby said.

Crumby said the man on the floor said something to the effect of “Please don‘t shoot,” as another man — who she identified in court as Sebastian — followed King in.

“(Sebastian) just walked into the restaurant, seemed kind of calm, from what I remember,” Crumby said. “He didn‘t say anything, just walked up and shot.”

Two other witnesses, Ann Sano and Jaime Reyes, testified to hearing the man on the ground saying something to the effect of, “no, please no.”

Sano said the shooter “kind of scanned the room before he identified the gentleman he shot.”

“He walked directly up to him and shot him,” said Sano, who added the shooter was about 5 to 10 feet away when he pulled the trigger.

Marc Miskey, a busker who was outside the restaurant at the time of the shooting, said he heard the first shot before turning to see what was going on.

“I saw two guys, one with a gun in his hand, the other running toward the door of Bramble and Hare,” Miskey testified. “The second person was following the other person shooting, following him into Bramble and Hare.”

Miskey said the first man was moving in a “forward stoop,” while the shooter had a “deliberate walk.” Miskey later went into the restaurant after a shot was fired inside and said by then the shooter was restrained.

“He seemed almost calm,” Miskey said.

But while Crumby described Sebastian as calm, another witness Aurora Fernandez said she remembers both the shooter and the victim being “frantic,” and that the shooter appeared “manic.”

“Like, a combination of afraid, angry, alarmed,” Fernandez said. “I was afraid he was going to shoot more people.”

Fernandez pointed out Sebastian as the shooter, though she said she was only partially sure it was him.

Another witness, Gabrielle Decristofaro, testified she never saw a victim come in and only saw a shooter come in and fire a gun at the ground. She said she did not get a good enough look at the shooter to identify him.

None of the witnesses described seeing any injuries on Sebastian‘s face until after he was disarmed and restrained by Bramble and Hare employees.

Testimony to continue Tuesday

While Decristofaro‘s testimony was short, it did cost attorneys a juror, who said he didn‘t recognize Decristofaro‘s name when it was read during jury selection but recognized her face as his “favorite waitress” at the Lazy Dog.

Hartman, the judge, dismissed the juror at the request of defense attorneys and over the objection of prosecutors, leaving the trial with 14 jurors, including two alternates.

“Even though I have no question this juror would attempt to be fair and impartial, I am going to have to strike him at this point,” Hartman said.


She also renewed requests to bring in evidence of prior acts of character evidence against King to refute what she called improper character evidence during testimony in which witnesses testified to their interactions with King the day of the shooting being “positive.”

Hartman deferred ruling on the motion until the prosecution wrapped up its testimony.

Boulder County District Attorney Michael Dougherty said the prosecution planned on resting its case on Tuesday afternoon. Expected witnesses include a medical examiner and employees at the Bramble and Hare who reportedly disarmed Sebastian following the shooting.