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Michael Chavez ID'd as man shot to death in South Bryant Street murder (66)

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Update: Earlier today, we told you about a murder on the 1600 block of Bryant Street; see our previous coverage below. Now, the identity of the victim has been released, albeit a bit prematurely. The Denver Police Department sent out a news release without the name of the man, but it was paired with a crime bulletin featuring a photo of Michael Anthony Chavez. We just checked with DPD spokesman Sonny Jackson to make sure this information was releasable, however, and he confirms that Chavez's next of kin have been notified and are no doubt grieving.

Our condolences to Chavez's friends, family and loved ones.

In the meantime, investigators have added a few more details. As we've reported, Denver police were called to the 1600 block of South Bryant Street at around 10 p.m. last night on the report of a shooting. There, they found Chavez lying in the street, suffering from gunshot wounds. He was pronounced dead at Denver Health a short time later.

Detectives subsequently chatted with witnesses at the scene who reported seeing a dark colored vehicle leaving at a high rate of speed following the sound of gunshots. The car moved northbound on South Bryant before driving out of view.

The photo of Chavez is a mug shot, which obviously speaks of prior police interaction. But spokesman Jackson says he doesn't know the specifics of his criminal history.

If you have any information about the crime, you're encouraged to phone Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered. In the meantime, here's a larger look at Chavez's photo, followed by our previous coverage.

Continue for our previous coverage, including an interactive graphic of the area near where the shooting took place. Original post, 11:57 a.m. March 28: Right now, the crime that's grabbing the most attention in Denver involves Latoya Nelson's arrest in a hit-and-run that killed 85-year-old Charlie Herrera.

But about an hour before Nelson was taken into custody after being pulled over during what the Denver Police Department is calling a routine traffic stop near 31st and California, another crime was taking place across the city -- a murder that left a Hispanic man in his forties dead.

Details are sketchy, but here's what we know.

At around 10 p.m. last night, according to DPD spokesman Sonny Jackson, the DPD received a call about "a man down in the street" on the 1600 block of Bryant Street.

Officers responded to the scene and discovered "a male party who seemed to be suffering from a gunshot wound," Jackson continues.

The man was transported to a local hospital, where he was declared dead. Jackson describes him as a male Hispanic in his forties. Identification is pending his next of kin's notification.

At this point, Jackson says, the DPD has no suspect information to share. But he stresses that the investigation is ongoing.

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

More from our Mile High Murder archive: "Nathan Leon murder: Pizza delivery man's body found near recycling center (65)."

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