Crime

Report: Homeless Man Shot for Going Through Denver Homeowner's Trash

The October 3 shooting took place on the 1900 block of South Cherry Street in the Virginia Village neighborhood.
The October 3 shooting took place on the 1900 block of South Cherry Street in the Virginia Village neighborhood. Google Maps
Summerlike temperatures in Denver over the weekend spawned multiple incidents of summerlike violence, topped by reports of a homeless man wounded by gunfire for allegedly digging through trash in a usually quiet residential neighborhood in southeast Denver.

An indication of the bloody stretch to come popped up on the Denver Police Department Twitter account at 3:41 a.m. on Friday, October 1: news of a shots-fired call in the vicinity of East Colfax Avenue and Washington Street; an adult male was wounded.

At 12:36 a.m. on October 3, the DPD responded to a stabbing report farther north on Washington, at Ringsby Court. And at 4:23 a.m., Denver police confirmed that a juvenile male had been shot on the 1300 block of South Wolff Street. Neither injury was characterized as life-threatening.

Then, at 3:37 p.m. on October 3, the DPD sent out an alert regarding an adult male shot on the 1900 block of South Cherry Street in the Virginia Village neighborhood. The tweet added that two men were being investigated in the incident — and the details that emerged were bizarre.


The victim is described as a homeless man who was rooting through garbage outside a residence when he was confronted by a person identified as a security guard. The guard's father soon joined the showdown and is believed to have shot the homeless man in the foot; he is expected to recover.

The DPD has not yet shared details about who owned the home or what charges, if any, might be pressed against the father and son — although the setting and the circumstances would seem to mitigate against a claim of self-defense under Colorado's Make My Day law. But whatever happened, the incident already rates as one of the stranger episodes in a bloody season that isn't over yet.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts