Officers Scott Mathews Jr. and his girlfriend Katherine O'Neal were upset with a 14-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl for lighting fireworks, which allegedly disturbed their small dog.
An off-duty corrections officer has been arrested for fatally shooting his black neighbor over a dispute about fireworks on Independence Day in Aurora, Colorado. Reports state that Scott Mathews Jr. and his girlfriend Katherine O'Neal were upset with a 14-year-old boy and a 9-year-old girl for lighting fireworks, which allegedly startled their small dog.
In Colorado a suspected white supremacist couple instigated an altercation with a Black woman and her children who were celebrating the 4th of July with fireworks in the apartment complex they share. Scott Mathews Jr assaulted the BW, & when her boyfriend arrived Mathews shot him pic.twitter.com/tKKQNz1ka3— Tariq Nasheed 🇺🇸 (@tariqnasheed) July 10, 2019
The arrest affidavit states that the mother of the children was with them when Mathews and O'Neal began arguing with the group. At the time of the confrontation, both of them were armed with guns.
O'Neal, who is also a corrections officer, admitted that during the course of the argument, she drew her gun, but did not point it at anyone. However, Mathews allegedly headbutted the children's mother Shamira Cotton during the dispute. He then pointed the gun at her while screaming profanities. Cotton admitted that she tossed a drink at Mathews during the confrontation.
36-year-old Jaharie Wheeler, Cotton's boyfriend, then came out of his apartment to find his girlfriend bleeding. The affidavit states that this prompted an argument to ensue between Wheeler and Mathews when the former threw a punch at the off-duty corrections officer. A witness to the incident provided the authorities with a video which showed Wheeler throwing a punch at Mathews who at first stumbles backward before drawing his gun and firing a single, fatal shot at Wheeler.
😒caucasians...Scott Mathews murdered, father of 2, Jaharie Wheeler, after assaulting his girlfriend on the July 4th. Why??? Because his girlfriend, Katherine O'Neal's, dogs were upset by fireworks. Mathews faces 2nd degree murder. RIP Jaharie🙏🏾 https://t.co/sRwB808MUi pic.twitter.com/zqMBiEWASg— ure_too_close (@ure_too_close) July 11, 2019
The authorities were alerted about shots being fired at 10:29 p.m. at the Greensview Apartment Complex, 16400 E. Alameda Place. When the police arrived, they found Wheeler with a gunshot wound. He was immediately transported to a hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.
A white off-duty correctional officer Scott Mathews got upset that the fireworks startled his dog. So he headed-butted Shamira Cotton.— Equally Divided (@DividedEqually) July 10, 2019
Her boyfriend Jaharie Wheeler came outside and saw her bleeding and Mathews shot him in the chest killing him. https://t.co/GOHh50uTPc
Police arrested Mathews, who is said to be a corrections officer at the Denver Women's Correctional Facility, after extensively interviewing the suspect as well as witnesses to the shooting. The affidavit of the arrest states that when officers confronted Mathews about the incident, he said: "I shot him".
This is proof that white people will put their dogs comfort over a black persons life. This all started because the fireworks bothered their dog...he has to go to prison and she has to move out.— A'donde Vas (@tammie_grier) July 11, 2019
Mathews is currently being held at the Aurora Detention Center on a bond of $100,000. There is currently no update on his hearing or the charges he currently faces. Mathews has since been suspended without pay from his job as a corrections officer.