The following vignettes describe the circumstances for killings not ruled self-defense by private individuals with permits to carry concealed handguns. The incidents below all occurred in Colorado. The descriptions include the current, known status of any charges filed against the concealed carry killer as reported by news sources as well as noting instances where the perpetrator committed suicide.

The Violence Policy Center welcomes any new information regarding the status of any case (with verifiable source(s)). Use this link to contact the VPC:

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Mark Nielsen  CONVICTED

Date: July 28, 2020
People Killed: 1

On July 28, 2020, concealed handgun permit holder Mark Nielsen, 56, allegedly shot and killed John Achterkirch, 64, following an argument at Achterkirch’s home. That night, police received a call from Nielsen stating that he had been physically assaulted and had shot his attacker. When police arrived, Achterkirch was found lying on the floor with a gunshot wound to the face. He died a few hours later. Nielsen was placed into custody and taken to the hospital with lacerations to his forehead. Danyelle Shatto, Nielsen’s fiancé and Achterkirch’s niece, was also present at the scene. Shatto told investigators that Achterkirch blamed her and Nielsen for the arrest of Joleigha Johnson ̶ who Achterkirch had recently moved into the home ̶ on an outstanding warrant, and that as a result he would have to evict them from the house. Shatto and Nielsen claimed that Achterkirch had threatened to kill them and had attacked Nielsen, and that Nielsen had acted in self defense. Nielsen carried a gun at all times, even while in the house. On the night of the shooting, he was reportedly armed with a Ruger .380 pistol and Llama .45 pistol. As the investigation continued Nielsen’s story changed over time. He claimed his poor recollection might be the result of alcohol intoxication and marijuana use that night. Nielsen was arrested on suspicion of second degree murder.

UPDATE: In March 2022, Mark Nielsen was found guilty of manslaughter in the death of John Achterkirch.

Source: “Mark Nielsen found guilty of manslaughter,”, March 12, 2022; “Arrest affidavit: Dispute between roommates led to fatal shooting in Florence,”, September 25, 2020.

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Patrick Salazar-Bustamante  CONVICTED

Date: December 3, 2018
People Killed: 1

On December 3, 2018, concealed handgun permit holder Patrick “Little Pat” Salazar-Bustamante, 23, allegedly shot and killed his father Patrick “Pat” Bustamante, 50, inside their home in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Salazar-Bustamante originally told investigators that he was not at home when his father was shot. However, he later revealed that he was showing his father how to ‘field strip’ his pistol but forgot to remove the loaded ammunition magazine. The gun fired, killing the older Bustamante. Salazar-Bustamante had a concealed handgun permit. He was arrested and charged with manslaughter.

UPDATE: In August 2019, Patrick Salazar-Bustamante was sentenced to three years in a community-based prison alternative after admitting he was careless when he fatally shot his father while demonstrating how to disassemble a gun.

Source: “Colorado Springs man avoids prison in father’s deadly shooting,”, August 14, 2019;“Family of father and son involved in deadly shooting say it was a ‘tragic accident,’”, December 8, 2018.

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Jared Haley  SUICIDE

Date: April 30, 2016
People Killed: 2 (including shooter)

On April 30, 2016, concealed handgun permit holder Jared Haley shot and killed his ex-wife Jessie Powell Haley before turning the gun on himself. According to court records, the Haley’s divorce had closed about a month before the murder-suicide. According to a police report, officers found a note listing pros and cons of the couple moving back in together in the room where their bodies were found. At least three children were present in the home at the time of the shooting. Relatives told police that Jared Haley had previously discussed suicide, had a bad temper, and had grabbed his gun during a prior argument, as well as commenting to a relative that, “If I take myself out, I won’t be going alone.” A neighbor told police that Jessie Haley was upset that Jared had recently obtained a concealed carry permit. Police records show at least five prior visits
by police to the Haley’s home.

Source: “String of domestic violence murder-suicides orphan children, stun communities,”, September 18, 2016.

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Stefan Bloom  PENDING

Date: March 15, 2015
People Killed: 1

On March 15, 2015, concealed handgun permit holder Stefan Bloom, 26, allegedly shot and killed David Edwards, 53.  A police “shot spotter” detected three gunshots at approximately 10:45 PM.  When police arrived on the scene they found Edwards, shot in the head, lying partially inside the driver’s-side door of Bloom’s Subaru.  Bloom, who claimed he acted in self-defense, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder.  No further details about the circumstances of the shooting have been released by police.

Source: “Concealed carrier arrested in deadly shooting,”, March 17, 2015.

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: Daniel Baker  CONVICTED

Date: April 17, 2012
People Killed: 1

On April 17, 2012 concealed handgun permit holder Daniel Baker, 30, allegedly shot and killed Nicholas Carpenter, 21, and shot and injured Benjamin Williams, 33, and Joshua Fenderbosch, 29. According to news reports, Baker accompanied Fenderbosch’s girlfriend to the home she shared with Fenderbosch. She told Baker that she and Fenderbosch had been fighting and that she was afraid she’d be assaulted if she went to the home alone. The girlfriend had told a friend that she brought Baker along for protection and that he had a gun, but that he should use it only to injure, not kill. The girlfriend paid Baker with drugs in advance for the protection. When they arrived, Carpenter, who also lived at the home, called Fenderbosch and told him that the two were talking about how she would “get back at him.” Eventually, Fenderbosch and Williams arrived at the home. An argument ensued, and Baker claimed that Fenderbosch and his friends held him down and beat him. He then went into “fight mode to survive,” drawing his gun and shooting the three men. But according to Fenderbosch and Williams, only Baker and Fenderbosch were fighting, Williams and Carpenter were not involved. They claim that Baker opened fire on the two unarmed men and that even after the fight between Fenderbosch and Baker had ended, Baker kept shooting. Williams recalled saying, “Dude, why are you shooting people?” Williams told police that Baker shot Carpenter a second time while he was on the ground, and then turned the gun on him, firing twice. Baker faces charges of first degree murder.

UPDATE: On July 24, 2013, Daniel Baker pleaded “no contest” to charges of criminally negligent homicide and misdemeanor drug possession in the death of Nicholas Carpenter. Baker was sentenced to a four-year deferred sentence on the homicide count and 435 days in jail for drug possession. In May 2013, Baker was acquitted on attempted murder charges for the wounding of Benjamin Williams and Joshua Fenderbosch. The jury hung on the first degree murder charge and Williams accepted the plea deal to avoid another trial and a potential life sentence.

Source: “Pueblo murder suspect who claimed self defense reaches plea agreement,” The Pueblo Chieftain, July 24, 2013; “Judge To Decide Triple Shooting Suspect’s Fate,” 11news, May 23, 2012; “One killed, two hurt in Pueblo shooting,”, April 18, 2012.

Concealed Handgun Permit Holder: David Lee Noriega  CONVICTED

Date: September 16, 2008
People Killed: 1

On September 16, 2008, David Lee Noriega allegedly shot and killed Clay Frank Eldred at 11:00 PM outside a scrap yard where Noriega was employed as a security guard. Noriega said he fired five shots from his AR-15 assault pistol to warn Eldred—who he claimed charged him with a baseball bat—and another unidentified man. Detectives stated, however, that there were no signs Eldred had tried to enter the scrap yard. According to an affidavit, after the shooting Noriega reportedly made comments to a fellow security guard that they needed to move Eldred’s body onto the scrap yard property and “make it look like the guy he shot had a weapon.” The fellow security guard eventually pled guilty to a misdemeanor count of prohibited use of a firearm. Felony charges of accessory to reckless manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence were dismissed as part of a plea agreement. The night of the shooting Noriega was also armed with a 454 caliber handgun and had loaned his fellow security guard a 40 caliber handgun. Noriega, who had a concealed handgun permit, was charged with reckless manslaughter and tampering with physical evidence. On December 31, 2009, Noriega pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide.

Source: “Scrapyard security guard pleads guilty in fatal Colo. shooting,”, January 4, 2010; “Police arrest second guard as accessory: The man is held on suspicion of tampering with physical evidence in a fatal shooting at a scrap yard,” The Pueblo Chieftain, September 20, 2008; “Security guard pleads guilty to misdemeanor,” The Pueblo Chieftan, February 27, 2009.