The man who pleaded guilty to shooting three people at a Walmart in Thornton last year will spend the rest of his life in prison.
On Friday afternoon, Scott Ostrem, 48, was sentenced to three life terms in prison without parole, part of Ostrem’s treatment with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty on first-degree murder charges.
On the night of November 1, 2017, Ostrem entered a Walmart store located at 9990 Grant St. in Thornton, and opened fire on the crowd, then left the place as if nothing had happened.
According to the investigation, the gunman fired 7 times in about 20 seconds, killing Victor Vasquez, Pamela Marques and Carlos Moreno. Vasquez, 26, of Denver, had two young daughters and a third child on the way.
Marques de 52, was a grandmother, like Moreno of 66, who was a maintenance worker in Thornton. Nearly 20 members of the families spoke at the hearing this Friday. So far, the reason for the attack is unknown.
The 3 victims were Hispanic, while Ostrem is white, but he was not charged with a hate crime. The authorities also said there was no evidence that the shooting was related to terrorism.
Ostrem’s stepsister said that in 1988, he had been tormented by voices he heard in his head after taking LSD during a party, but that he did not know what led his half-brother to shoot the victims.
After the episode of the drug in 1988, her half-sister said that Ostrem transformed from an extroverted, sociable and athletic person to a prisoner tormented by voices that told him that the devil was after him.
The neighbors described him as a hostile loner who cursed them, and who often carried a shotgun in and out of his apartment on the third floor.