There's been a rash of violence in the metro area over recent days, including the attack on Michelle Wilkins, whose unborn baby was cut from her womb, and the third homicide on one Aurora block in six months.
But few crimes have been as mysterious as the one that took the life of Westminster's Lucas Barrera.
Police originally thought Barrera, 41, had taken his own life.
Now, however, investigators believe he was a victim of homicide — yet they insist that the public isn't in danger from a killer on the loose.
At about 4:30 p.m. last Tuesday, March 17, according to the Westminster Police Department, dispatchers received a 911 call about a possible suicide on the 7300 block of Bradburn Boulevard.
In a home there, they found a man in his forties dead.
The WPD hasn't officially identified him as Barrera, but 7News has confirmed his identity.
Barrera was the owner of the house and died on March 17, as confirmed by his online obituary, on which the family photo above appears.
The station reveals that Barrera's body was discovered by his daughter after she returned home from school. The cause of death appears to have been a gunshot wound.
What changed the direction of the inquiry?
At this point, the WPD has only released this statement: "Further investigation revealed what the first responding officers suspected, and we are currently investigating this case as a homicide."
The department adds that "we do not believe there is any danger to the public."
As we've discussed in this space, such reassurances are typically code to suggest that police are confident they know the identity of the perpetrator — and indeed, 7News cites police sources as hinting that an arrest could take place soon.
Until that happens, the WPD plans to be silent. Its release emphasizes that "due to the ongoing investigation, we will not be releasing any further details regarding this case."
A visitation for Barrera will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. today at a funeral home in Lakewood, followed immediately by a rosary. The funeral service has been scheduled for Friday, March 27. For more information, click here.
Our condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Lucas Barrera. Here's a 7news report.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Westword's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Denver's stories with no paywalls.