As we've reported, Montbello, which was recently named Denver's fastest-growing suburb, has been fighting a reputation as a magnet of crime and recently scored a success on that count when a Sav-a-Lot grocery store opened in a neighborhood that had previously been a food desert. But this weekend brought a far less happy development. On Saturday night, February 3, a double homicide occurred on the same Montbello block where the body of another murder victim was dumped approximately eighteen months earlier.
At first glance, the place where the crimes happened — the 13100 block of East Elgin Place, near the intersection of East Andrews Drive — looks like a typical city residential area.
But on July 24, 2016, as we've reported, it was the site of horror and death.
On that date, the body of Walter Bracken Jr., 39, was found burning on the side of the street.
The following September, the Denver District Attorney's Office issued formal charges against 22-year-old Delshon Giles. Investigators believe that Giles killed Bracken after an altercation at the 5100 block of Victor Way, then ditched his remains on Elgin Place and set them ablaze.
Giles is also believed to have lit a fire at the Victor Way residence, presumably in a bid to hide evidence. He stands accused of first-degree murder and both first- and second-degree arson.
Around a year and a half later, at 8:05 p.m. on February 3, the Denver Police Department tweeted that officers had been dispatched to the 13100 block of East Elgin Place "in regard to a reported shooting. One male has been transported for treatment."
Less than an hour later, the DPD tweeted again, and this time the message confirmed a significantly higher body count.
"In relation to the case on East Elgin Place," the item reads, "this matter is now being investigated as a double homicide. In addition, there is a 3rd victim being treated for critical injuries."
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More details were revealed at a press conference yesterday, February 4.
At that time, the DPD noted that one of Saturday's victims was transported to a hospital. The other two walked into a separate facility, where one later died.
Additionally, officers made contact with Octavio Morales, eighteen, at one of the medical centers and consider him to be a person of interest in the shooting. Thus far, there's neither word of an arrest or charges involving Morales nor an update about the third victim's condition.
Meanwhile, Montbello residents, on the block in question and the community as a whole, are left to deal with the kind of story that they're desperately trying to leave behind.