Skip to Content

Springs store owner says man threatened to shoot up his store, used racial slurs amid outburst

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The owner of a Colorado Springs 7-Eleven says a man entered his store and used racially charged language towards him and his family before threatening him with a gun. The incident happened at the 7-Eleven off Uintah St. and Glen Ave. on Monday afternoon.

Christopher Ellaz, the franchisee at the store, confronted James Felter after Felter allegedly attempted to steal a vape from his storefront. When Ellaz refused him service, he claims Felter left the store and threw the top of a trash can into the parking lot before entering the store again and going on a physical tantrum.

James Felter

Felter is seen on video tossing multiple items from the store's counter onto the ground before Ellaz says he threatened to shoot the place up.

"He was extremely angry. He was like throwing everything over the counter, and he's threatening us, claiming that he hasn't done anything," Ellaz said. "He said he had a weapon and he's about to shoot all of us in the store. I immediately called 911 because I was scared for my life. I was really worried about my wife and my kids and my parents."

In the midst of this, Ellaz says Felter was using strong, racially charged language towards him. Ellaz, who is of Middle Eastern descent, says the words caught him off guard.

"He was using like extremely vicious words, using, like, you know, racial statements, saying 'we are from a different country, 'that we came to this country and we took all of the jobs of most people in this country," Ellaz said.

After he says he was accosted by Felter, Ellaz grabbed his bat from a back room, and saw Felter out of his store before Felter returned and ran at him to attack him right as Colorado Springs police officer arrived on scene.

Felter was arrested and faces a felony menacing charge, as well multiple misdemeanors to include allegedly committing a bias motivated crime.

One day after the incident, Ellaz's attention has turned to addressing constantly loitering around his store. He tells 13 Investigates his store is constantly being victimized by unhoused people around the I-25 area north of downtown.

"This issue, it's becoming a really massive issue to me, to my business, to every store owner in Colorado Springs, this population is becoming really insane in the city," Ellaz said.

The 7-Eleven owner is calling on city leaders to seek answers to the complex problem of homelessness. He says one day after a homeless outreach team removed dozens of unhoused people from near his property, they returned the very next day.

I hope the city council or the state can figure out something about that situation because we're losing business, the store image, it's not looking good because people hang out all night long," Ellaz said. "We are losing business because a lot of females are not comfortable coming inside the store when it's dark."

Watch KRDO News Channel 13 at 10 P.M. for the full video of the incident inside the 7-Eleven store.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.


KRDO NewsChannel 13 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content