Murder in Federal Heights (No. 5): Three suspects on the loose

According to Lt. Gary Toldness, public information officer for the Federal Heights Police Department, cops don't have much to go on so far in their search for three individuals in a shooting early this morning on the 2500 block of West 91st Drive that left one man dead.

In fact, they're not even 100 percent positive that all members of the trio are men. But they have their suspicions.

Toldness says the incident took place "at about 1:30 this morning. A guy who was visiting the residence where this occurred went out to a car, sits down, and is just about to put the key in the ignition when another car pulls up.

"Three suspects get out and confront him. They ask him for his wallet and take his stereo. He has an amp on the front seat, and they take that, and they take the stereo under the dash, too. Then one of the guys, who's armed with a small caliber rifle, says, 'Take me inside the house,' and he does.

"The doors open, and at that time, he confronts another male in the house -- and that's when the shooting occurs."

Toldness says the man in the house died. The attack was witnessed by the man's girlfriend and the person who'd been robbed outside; others were in the house, but they were sleeping. Unfortunately, though, their descriptions "are all pretty vague. The suspects were all covered in black clothing, with gloves and hoodies and bandannas for masks. We couldn't even say for sure that all of them were men."

The crime may seem random, but police haven't ruled out the possibility that one or more of the suspects knew the victim or witnesses. However, no one recognized any voices.

At this point, the victim hasn't been identified, and Toldness describes the investigation as being in a preliminary phase. Over the years, he notes that Federal Heights "typically averages one or two murders a year, but we haven't had one for probably four or five yeras. We've had a lot of shootings, attempted murders, but it's been quite a while since we've actually had a homicide."

Unfortunately, that streak of good fortune is over.

Below, find an interactive graphic showing the area near the scene; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."

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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