“The sheriff’s office is aware of this photo,” says a source in the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office. “It has been sent to the team…and will be something that they look at.”
The photo was posted last December on a Facebook page belonging to Joe Koenig, a senior at Ralston Valley High School. Police have identified one of the suspects in the April 26 rock-throwing incidents as Joseph Koenig of Arvada; he is now in custody.
There are no other Joe or Joseph Koenigs on Facebook listed as living in Arvada, Colorado. Posts on this page go as far back as 2017.
While police don’t know the exact origins of the photo, there are a few things that investigators are sure of: The photo has been sent to authorities by numerous people claiming to be close to Koenig; it was alarming enough to warrant a probe; and cops believe there are at least three ways it could have wound up on Koenig’s Facebook page: through a post made by a friend, a post made by a family member, or a post by Koenig himself.
Jeffco investigators are currently working to determine the photo’s relevance and whether it’s important to the case, according to the source.
The “JUST KILLED A WOMAN…FEELING GOOD” line is a term made famous by a YouTube and Twitch streamer named @TommyInnit, who uttered it after he killed a woman during a Minecraft gaming session. One clip of @TommyInnit saying the phrase has been viewed over one million times.
Eighteen-year-old Joseph Koenig was arrested at his home in Arvada sometime between late Tuesday, April 25, and early Wednesday, April 26. Eighteen-year-old Nicholas “Mitch” Karol-Chik and eighteen-year-old Zachary Kwak were also taken into custody at their Arvada residences.
“All three are suspected of throwing rocks and all three are currently facing charges of First Degree Murder, Extreme Indifference,” said the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office in an April 26 news release.
According to investigators, the trio of high-school seniors drove around in a black 2016 Chevy Silverado on the night of April 19 with a load of rocks taken from a Walmart. They targeted at least seven vehicles; twenty-year-old Bartell was fatally wounded by a rock that the teens allegedly threw at her car, smashing right through the windshield and sending the car off the road.
“Alexa’s vehicle was the last of a series of vehicles struck by large landscaping rocks in a spree that began shortly after 10 p.m. that night at 100th and Simms in Westminster,” the sheriff’s office reported.
The arrest affidavits for Koenig, Karol-Chik and Kwak include disturbing details about how they made a “blood brothers” oath after their April 19 crime spree — swearing to keep quiet. Before that, though, they allegedly returned to the scene of the Bartell attack and took a photo of her smashed-up windshield.
According to Jeffco DA spokesperson Brionna Boatright, authorities are looking into the possibility of more victims being out there. “The investigation into other similar incidents is ongoing,” she says.
According to the arrest affidavit, Karol-Chik told cops that he and Koenig had been “involved in throwing objects since at least February on ten separate days.” So far, however, no other victims have come forward with reports of incidents before April 19.
“Just because the affidavit has been sent to the DA’s office and these guys just had their first court appearance doesn’t mean our investigation is complete,” says the sheriff’s office source. “It will continue for days and days, maybe longer. If we, over the course of our investigation, are able to determine that these guys are associated with additional cases — that may have initially gone unreported or we didn’t have suspect information — then we’ll add it to [the case] with additional reports.”
Adds the source: “It’s just incredibly disturbing. We have no history with this, we have not seen this before. It’s shocking and it’s devastating. It’s just horrible.”
Boatright confirms the unprecedented nature of the incidents. “Our office has never been presented with or made aware of any other deadly [road] incidents in Jefferson County,” she says.
Charges for Koenig, Karol-Chik and Kwak are expected to be officially filed on May 3 by the DA’s office.