Update: One of the saddest stories of September involved the slaying of Darren Bloomquist, who was moonlighting as a cab driver to support his disabled wife.
See our previous coverage below.
The working theory: Bloomquist was killed during a robbery after responding to a call for a fare.
Just before Bloomquist's memorial service, authorities announced the arrest of a seventeen-year-old suspect, but that person was subsequently released without being charged.
Now, however, two more teens have been accused of first-degree murder in the case.
They are Dasean Perry, nineteen, and Nicholas McKinney, who was seventeen on September 5, when Bloomquist was killed.
McKinney, who's now eighteen, is being charged as an adult for the crime.
The details about why one teen was arrested and released, not to mention the information that led to the cuffing of Perry and McKinney, isn't being shared right now.
The Denver District Attorney's Office tells us records in the case are sealed at this writing.
However, Robert McBride, owner of Metro Taxi, for whom Bloomquist drove, is pleased by the development.
In a statement shared with CBS4, he wrote: “Darren’s tragic death shook us up beyond measure, and we are glad to see that Denver’s finest has made progress.”
Look below to see booking photos for Perry and McKinney, followed by a CBS4 report about the latest developments and our previous coverage.
Update, 5:36 a.m. September 18: At 11 a.m. this morning, a memorial service will be held for Darren Bloomquist, a cab driver murdered on September 5 (see our previous coverage below), at the headquarters of Metro Taxi, for whom he drove; the address is 5900 East 38th Street.
The mood at the event, which is open to the public, is expected to be somber. But at least attendees know that someone has been arrested in relation to the crime.
The suspect's identity has not been revealed because he's a juvenile — a seventeen-year-old male.
We'll only learn his name if he's charged as an adult — something certainly within the realm of possibility given the seriousness of the crime and an age that's less than one-year shy of eighteen.
As we've reported, Bloomquist was shot to death near an apartment complex in Green Valley Ranch after being dispatched to pick up a fare. He was found dead in his taxi with the motor still running.
At this point, most details about the arrest are being kept under wraps.
But as noted by Fox31, Denver Police Department reps say that the teen was taken into custody on September 10 on what's characterized as an unrelated charge.
A week later, on September 17, he was served with an arrest warrant in the Bloomquist case while still behind bars.
The Bloomquist case is only one of several violent incidents for which arrests have just been announced — including a fatal shooting at PT II's strip club, the murder of Donald Johnson near a Bear Valley King Soopers and a homicide in Montbello. We'll be rolling out updates on all these cases shortly.
Look below for Fox31 coverage of the arrest in Bloomquist's slaying, followed by our earlier reporting.
Original post 9:12 a.m. September 9: A good friend and fellow taxi driver says Darren Bloomquist was an Air Force veteran who began moonlighting as a cabbie to make extra money for his family — and, in particular, for his wife, who's disabled.
A statement from Metro Taxi adds that Bloomquist "was personable, good humored and was happy to serve the people of Denver,"
But before dawn on Saturday, September 5, Bloomquist, 49, was shot to death after being called to pick up a fare in Green Valley Ranch.
Now, Metro Taxi is offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Bloomquist's killer or killers — and Metro Denver Crime Stoppers is kicking in $2,000 as well, bringing the total to $7,000.
According to the Denver Police Department, Bloomquist was dispatched to a complex at 20000 East Mitchell Place, in the Green Valley Ranch area, early on the 5th.
Investigators believe he was shot to death at approximately 4:35 a.m.
Around 6 a.m., Fox31 reports, Metro Taxi operators became concerned that Bloomquist hadn't checked in. He'd made his last contact about an hour and a half earlier, when he arrived at the front gates at the East Mitchell address for the pickup.
After being alerted by Metro Taxi, DPD officers went to the scene.
They found the cab not far away, near the intersection of Mitchell and Elmira.
The vehicle was still running — and Bloomquist was dead inside it.
Robbery is the presumed motive.
Yesterday, the Denver coroner's office confirmed that Bloomquist had died as the result of a gunshot wound.
The DPD has now issued the following driver's license photo of Bloomquist....
...as well as a photo of a cab....
...and a request for people with information about the case to contact Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
The award amount is listed at $7,000 because it includes the sum put up by Metro Taxi.
We've included the Metro Taxi flier below. You'll note that hashtags accompanying it include #ripDarrenBloomquist and #wewillnotrest.
The flier follows Fox31's piece about the tragic case.
In the meantime, we offer our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Darren Bloomquist, as well as our best wishes to the city's taxi drivers. As we've documented, the job of picking up strangers at all times of the day and night carries inherent risks. We hope every cabbie makes it home safe each and every day.
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