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Aurora protest Jeep driver identified as former CSU student

A blue Jeep Wrangler drove through protesters in Aurora, Colorado, July 25, leading to a shooting that injured two people from gunshot wounds. 

Interstate 225 was blocked off by police on the north and south sides at the beginning of the protest that was demanding justice for the death of Elijah McClain. However, the Jeep was able to get onto the highway, driving through the crowd. 

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Screenshots of a Tweet posted on Instagram account @colostatememes’ story, identified the driver as Kyle Scott Faulkison and said he was a Colorado State University student and PowerShield Limited employee.

Screenshot of Kyle Scott Faulkison’s now deleted LinkedIn profile that lists his education at Colorado State University. (Screenshot courtesy of Ehret Nottingham)

Public Safety and Risk Communications Manager Dell Rae Ciaravola confirmed that Faulkison was a student briefly in 2015 and for a semester in 2016, but he did not receive a degree from the University nor does he currently attend CSU. 

“Kyle Scott Faulkison tarnishes the name and reputation of CSU through his actions and CSU should condemn and distance the school from this person’s actions,” said Ehret Nottingham, protester and sophomore political science major, in a direct message to The Collegian

As a campus, the role of race must be addressed and condemned to the utmost degree, he said. A neutral stance cannot be taken when a former student attacks peaceful protesters, Nottingham said. 

As the Jeep drove through the protesters, one protester fired six shots at the vehicle, according to witnesses. The shooter, identified by the Aurora Police Department as 23-year-old Samuel Young, was taken into custody on July 27 after a judge signed arrest warrants for four counts of attempted homicide, according to a statement

Video footage of the Jeep passengers talking to an Aurora police officer was recorded after the incident, but no arrests were made as APD continues to investigate.

APD has not released the identity of the Jeep driver to the public. However, APD released a statement July 26 stating that the driver of the Jeep “was positively identified, questioned and the Jeep was impounded for evidentiary purposes.” 

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The statement continues, saying that, during preliminary interviews, the driver’s vehicle was surrounded by protesters who were “yelling and striking his vehicle.” He claims that a white pickup truck, owned by Sebastian Sassi, struck the front of his vehicle. 

“He claims that the reason that he drove towards the protesters is because he was scared and trying to get away,” read the statement. 

Sassi explained that he saw the Jeep was actively trying to harm protesters, and in an attempt to slow the driver down, he pulled into his lane. 

The Collegian has not been able to reach Faulkison for comment. The original Tweet showed a screenshot of Faulkison’s LinkedIn profile, which is now inaccessible.

APD is still requesting any photo or video footage showing the Jeep driver’s actions prior to driving through the group of protesters. 

“To uphold the Principles of Community, CSU must condemn these actions and continue to take a forward anti-racist stance on issues of injustice and human rights,” Nottingham said. “Anything less is silence in the face of oppression and an embarrassment to all of CSU’s students.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this article included information that was not relevant to the article and has been removed.

Laura Studley and Serena Bettis can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @CSUCollegian.

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About the Contributor
Serena Bettis
Serena Bettis, Editor in Chief
Serena Bettis is your 2022-23 editor in chief and is in her final year studying journalism and political science. In her three years at The Collegian, Bettis has also been a news reporter, copy editor, news editor and content managing editor, and she occasionally takes photos, too. When Bettis was 5, her family moved from Iowa to a tiny town northwest of Fort Collins called Livermore, Colorado, before eventually moving to Fort Collins proper. When she was 8 years old, her dad enrolled at Colorado State University as a nontraditional student veteran, where he found his life's passion in photojournalism. Although Bettis' own passion for journalism did not stem directly from her dad, his time at CSU and with The Collegian gave her the motivation to bite down on her fear of talking to strangers and find The Collegian newsroom on the second day of classes in 2019. She's never looked back since. Considering that aforementioned fear, Bettis is constantly surprised to be where she is today. However, thanks to the supportive learning environment at The Collegian and inspiring peers, Bettis has not stopped chasing her teenage dream of being a professional journalist. Between working with her section editors, coordinating news stories between Rocky Mountain Student Media departments and coaching new reporters, Bettis gets to live that dream every day. When she's not in the newsroom or almost falling asleep in class, you can find Bettis working in the Durrell Marketplace and Café or outside gazing at the beauty that is our campus (and running inside when bees are nearby). This year, Bettis' goals for The Collegian include continuing its trajectory as a unique alt-weekly newspaper, documenting the institutional memory of the paper to benefit students in years to come and fostering a sense of community and growth both inside the newsroom and through The Collegian's published work. Bettis would like to encourage anyone with story ideas, suggestions, questions, concerns or comments to reach out to her at editor@collegian.com.

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