Jamaal Edwards About Fight Before Double Murder: "Sh*t Happened" (27-28)

The latest booking photo of Jamaal Edwards. Additional images and more below.
The latest booking photo of Jamaal Edwards. Additional images and more below.
Denver District Attorney's Office

Update: Last week, Jamaal Edwards was arrested on suspicion of double-murder at a Xenia Street apartment complex; see our previous coverage (including an update) below. Edwards's mom suggested that her son didn't remember killing anyone, perhaps because he had taken acid. And while a memory lapse is also noted in a police report also shared here, there are plenty of weird details, including Edwards's summation of an altercation that preceded the brutal killings: "Shit happened."

See also: Toshio Gilmore Shot to Death in Lowry, No Suspects in Custody (26)

A photo from the crime scene.
A photo from the crime scene.
Denver Police Department

According to Edwards's probable-cause statement, officers were dispatched to 1425 Xenia Street, apartment 102, after a woman called 911 to say she'd discovered a friend of hers bleeding on the floor and apparently dead.

Upon their arrival, the cops found two victims: John Shoeboot, pronounced dead at the scene, and James Brown III, who died shortly thereafter at University Hospital. Autopsies showed that both of them died as a result of multiple sharp-force injuries.

Detectives subsequently learned another 911 call had come in around the time of the slayings, this one from Edwards. During the conversation, he's quoted as claiming "he had seen someone murdered."

Another look at the crime scene.
Another look at the crime scene.

Upcoming Events

The next day, investigators tracked down Edwards. He initially said he'd seen an unidentified man stab Shoeboot and Brown to death, but the cops weren't convinced, owing to alleged inconsistencies in his account, not to mention two cuts on his right hand.

During another interview, the report quotes Edwards as saying he "argued and physically fought with the two men and 'shit happened.'" He added that after obtaining two knives, he blacked out. When asked who he'd stabbed first, Edwards said he didn't recall, although he did remember sticking a knife into a couch. He also acknowledged that he'd disposed of the clothing he'd worn that night, because the items had blood on them.

Edwards has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder; he's next due in court on February 13. Here's a larger look at his most recent booking photo, followed by a charging document, the probable-cause statement and our previous coverage.

Jamaal Edwards.
Jamaal Edwards.
Denver District Attorney's Office

Jamaal Edwards Probable Cause Statement and Charges

Continue for our previous coverage (including an update) of the double-murder at the Xenia Street apartment complex, including more photos and video.  

Jamaal Edwards. Additional photos and video below.
Jamaal Edwards. Additional photos and video below.
Denver Police Department

Update, 5:32 a.m. January 13: Last week, we told you about a double homicide at a Xenia Street apartment complex that provides shelter for once-homeless people, among others; see our previous coverage below. Now, the identities of the victims -- John Shoeboot, 53, and James Brown III, 42 -- have been released and a suspect -- Jamaal Edwards, 29 -- is in custody regarding the crime. As for what happened, Edwards reportedly suggested to his mom that something bad had happened after he tried acid. Details, photos and video below.

At around 2:40 a.m. on January 7, as we've reported, Denver police officers were called to an apartment building on the 1400 block of Xenia Street.

There, they found one man, Shoeboot, dead, and another, Brown, in critical condition. Brown was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

The apartments are part of a Colorado Coalition for the Homeless complex, and 7News notes that approximately two dozen formerly homeless people live there in addition to other residents.

Among them was Shoeboot, seen in this Facebook photo from last year:

John Shoeboot.
John Shoeboot.
Facebook

His page also features the following graphic:

Jamaal Edwards About Fight Before Double Murder: "Sh*t Happened" (27-28)

Shoeboot is said to have been formerly homeless and had a younger man staying with him; he referred to the latter as his nephew.

Thus far, the Denver coroner's office is only confirming that autopsies on Shoeboot and Brown were performed without revealing the cause of death. Likewise, the Denver Police Department is limiting the amount of information made public beyond confirming that Edwards has been jailed in relation to an investigation of first-degree murder.

However, Edwards's mother, Faye, offered more details to 7News. She tells the station Edwards called her to pick him up at a Walmart in Stapleton around 3 a.m. the morning of the slayings.

His account of the evening, according to her: He'd been playing a drinking game with "his homies" when they decided to try acid. Afterward, he said his head hurt and "I feel like I've been fighting."

Nonetheless, Faye believes Edwards, who has what 7News characterizes as a lengthy criminal record, was "set up."

Look below to see a larger version of Edwards's booking photo, followed by the aforementioned 7News piece. After that, view our original coverage, including a report noting that 84 homeless people died in Denver circa 2014.

Jamaal Edwards.
Jamaal Edwards.
Denver Police Department

Continue for more about the double shooting at Xenia Street, including additional photos, video and a report about homeless deaths in Denver.   Original coverage, 5:46 a.m. January 8: A double homicide at a Xenia Street apartment complex has received modest media coverage to date for a sad but predictable reason: The building in question is run by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless, and deaths among the homeless population are shockingly common. A new report notes that 84 homeless people died in Denver last year, five by homicide -- and that total actually represents a downward trend. Continue for details on both angles of this disturbing story, complete with photos, video and more.

The first official word of the incident came via this Denver Police Department tweet:

A subsequent DPD release revealed that the 911 call from the Xenia Street apartment complex came in at around 2:40 a.m. Responding officers found one man dead at the scene, with a second male victim pronounced dead after being rushed to an area hospital.

The scene of the crime.
The scene of the crime.

CBS4 reveals that one of the bodies was found inside, while the other was outside.

The presence of surveillance cameras at the facility raises hopes that the movements of a killer or killers will have been captured on video, but thus far, there have been no arrests or suspect descriptions shared publicly.

A surveillance camera on the building.
A surveillance camera on the building.

While no names of the victims have been issued thus far, CBS4 notes that most residents of the building are members of the homeless community trying to move on with their lives.

The station reveals that one victim was engaged to be married in May.

The violent act that has prevented a happier one arrives against the backdrop of a newly released Colorado Coalition for the Homeless report called "We Will Remember 2014: Homeless Death Review." The document, included in its entirety below, notes that 84 homeless people died in Denver last year, with five individuals, or 6 percent, perishing via homicide. Here's a graphic depicting the manner of the deaths:

Most, but not all, of the deaths fall under the "accidental" or "natural" categories.
Most, but not all, of the deaths fall under the "accidental" or "natural" categories.

The general public tends not to hear about many, if not most, of the homeless casualties in Denver, so the 84 death total may seem shockingly high. But another graphic reveals that the number is down from 124 deaths in 2013 and 140 in 2012.

Not that 84 deaths can be considered good news -- and the latest double homicide certainly starts out 2015 on a sad note. Our condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of the victims.

If you have any information about this incident, you're encouraged to contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867), which is offering a reward of up to $2,000 for information.

Look below to see a CBS4 piece, followed by the homeless death report.

Denver Homeless Death Review.pdf

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.


Sponsor Content

Newsletters

All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories
    Send:

Newsletters

All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >