Crime

Jose Diaz-Luevano allegedly killed after making food for gunman at Broncos-watching party (34)

Update: We now know the identity of the man shot to death at 36th and Lafayette on Sunday: Jose Diaz-Luevano, 67 -- the man a child was referring to when he burst from the home shouting, "They shot my Papi!" See our previous coverage below.

Clay Baeza-Garcia, 33, has been arrested for the crime. At this point, sources from the neighborhood suggest that he didn't know Diaz-Luevano, who might have escaped had not relatives on hand for a Broncos-game-watching party detained him.

According to a police report cited by the Denver Post, Alejandro Diaz, Jose's 36-year-old son, offered several versions of what happened, including that he'd been waiting out front of the house when Baeza-Garcia had arrived.

Whether or not they were acquainted is unclear right now. But Baerza-Garcia was apparently invited inside, with Jose grilling him some food when a "discussion" prompted the former to pull a gun. Alejandro and Baerza-Garcia are said to have been struggling over the weapon when it discharged, with Jose being hit dying of a gunshot wound to the chest a short time later.

In the meantime, the attendees watching the game rushed to prevent Baerza-Garcia from fleeing before the cops showed up.

At this writing, the Denver Police Department hasn't released Baerza-Garcia's mug shot due to planned photo lineups. But he remains in custody on suspicion of first-degree murder.

Here's our previous coverage.

Original post, 11:50 a.m. January 13: Earlier today, we told you about a fatal shooting on East 1st Avenue in Aurora -- the third homicide there since Christmas Eve.

But lately we've had a rash of similar incidents in other parts of the metro area, too.

Case in point: A shooting at a house near the intersection of 36th and Lafayette that left one man dead and resulted in another being taken into custody. Here's what we know so far.

Here's the first Denver Police Department tweet about the incident, which took place at around 4:30 p.m. yesterday.

That was followed by this unfortunate update....

...and information about a suspect:

A DPD spokesman told us a short time ago that no new information has been released thus far about either the victim or the suspect, but that should change before long. In the meantime, the Denver Post shares the account of a neighbor, who says a little boy ran out of the house after gunfire sounded, declaring, "They shot my Papi! They shot my Papi!"

Look below to see an interactive graphic of the area near the scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Third recent Aurora homicide: Man found dead in apartment parking lot (33)."

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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