Crime

Barricade Situation and Death in Sakura Square

Sakura Square is located near the intersection of 19th and Larimer.
Sakura Square is located near the intersection of 19th and Larimer. Courtesy of CBS4
Editor's note: A suspect has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder in the Sakura Square shooting. Get details in "Matthew Martin Busted for Woman's Death in 19th and Larimer Homicide." Continue for our previous coverage.

The resolution of a barricade situation late Monday afternoon, September 9, near the intersection of 19th and Larimer streets, has prompted a death investigation. And while a suspect was taken into custody after the incident, the Denver Police Department hasn't characterized the case as a homicide, at least not so far.

The DPD initially tweeted about the situation at 5:35 p.m. on September 9, noting: "Officers on-scene in the 1200 Blk 19th St. in regard to a possible barricaded party."

Just over an hour later, after the thus-far-unidentified suspect's arrest, Denver Police Technician Tyrone Campbell provided the press with some additional details — but only a few.


Campbell revealed that the apartment at the center of the drama was located in Tamai Tower, a twenty-story residential building in Sakura Square, which occupies the block between 19th and 20th and Larimer and Lawrence streets. And while he didn't divulge any information about the initial call to authorities, he confirmed that several neighboring units had to be evacuated after officers, who arrived at approximately 4:56 p.m., had trouble persuading the suspect to leave the space.

Such scenarios can often lead to danger for others in the area, as happened in late February 2013, when a significant slice of downtown was closed as a result of a gunfire-filled standoff near 12th and Grant. And this past January, a similar incident near Sixth and Inca resulted in a raging fire and the suspect's death by suicide.

This time around, however, the disruption was significantly less impactful. The adult male in question was fitted with a pair of handcuffs about an hour after his first encounter with law enforcement.

The man is currently being held on potential charges related to the barricade scenario, not the death. The circumstances of that remain a mystery.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
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