Teenaged Homicide Suspect Has First Court Appearance

A teenager arrested in connection with a homicide in Colorado Springs appeared before a judge for the first time. The crime set ignominious record for the city as the 29th homicide of 2011.

That broke the city's previous record of 28 homicides in 2007.

The suspect, identified as 18-year-old Danny Fields Jr. of Peyton, appeared for a video advisement Monday afternoon.

According to court documents obtained by KKTV 11 News on Monday, witnesses told police that the incident began as a drug deal.

The witness said he was in the back seat of a pickup truck driven by Fields' wife. According to the affidavit, the witness told police that Fields showed him a black semi-automatic handgun and said "I've got my gun if anything goes wrong."

While they drove to the parking lot of the Kiwk Stop located at Fountain and Chelton, the witness told police that Fields made several calls to set up a sale of some marijuana.

The victim, later identified as 20-year-old Zechariah Gardner of Colorado Springs, got into the car in the parking lot of the convenience store. The witness told police that he smelled the marijuana that was inside a plastic bag, then Fields put it on a scale in the center console.

Then, the witness said, Gardner grabbed the bag and got out of the car.

Fields allegedly chased the man out of the vehicle saying, "get him."

Before sprinting away down Chelton Road, the witness told police that Gardner somehow reached into the car to grab a white bag containing other packages of marijuana. Fields then chased him away.

A second witness, who had walked to the Kwik Stop with Gardner, also reportedly told police that he saw the chase. He also saw Fields open fire with the semi-automatic pistol.

Zechariah was shot on the 1100 block of Chelton Road.

Police wrote in the affidavit that their witness told them Field's wife began to drive away after hearing three gunshots. She said, "I don't know why he shot him," as they drove south on Chelton.

They were stopped by police shortly thereafter and brought in for interviews.

The affidavit also says that Fields' wife confirmed the information from their other witness.

The next day, the affidavit says that police had their witness call Fields to find out where he was. During that call they learned he was on the 20200 block of Sampson Road in Peyton, where Fields lives with his parents.

Fields was arrested during the execution of a search warrant there. El Paso County deputies assisted with the arrest.

Fields is charged with first-degree murder.

Police do not anticipate any further arrests in this case.