After a brief introduction by Chief White at this morning's news conference, which got underway a few minutes after the scheduled 6:30 a.m. start time, Commander Saunier offered the thoughts and prayers of the Denver Police Department to the family and friends of the five victims in the Fero's case, as well as to anyone who's lost a loved one through an act of violence.Then he revealed the arrest of three suspects in the crime. Late last night, close to 11 p.m., he said, various law enforcers cuffed Dexter Lewis (date of birth: February 16, 1990) on the 8300 block of East Colfax. Shortly thereafter, officers took into custody Joseph Hill (date of birth: August 11, 1985) and Lynell Hill (October 27, 1987) on the 4800 block of Quebec Street.
After thanking various agencies for assisting in these busts, Saunier revealed that "it appears that the motive of this crime was robbery. They came in there...I don't want to say it was a robbery gone bad...." He added that "the arson was set to try to cover up the crime scene of the event."
Saunier noted that key information was received after a 2 p.m. news conference yesterday at which little new was divulged about the investigation, which began after a fire call at the bar led to the discovery of four women and one man whose bodies bore the marks of "some trauma." According to Saunier, "detectives ran numerous search warrants. They're still working on following up. We're at the beginning of developing a case like this."
The suspects are currently being held on suspicion of first-degree murder and felony murder -- five counts' worth apiece -- plus aggravated robbery and arson. There could also be additional charges down the line.
Right now, the DPD believes all the suspects in the case are in custody, and that all three were physically in the bar at the time the crime was committed. Investigators aren't releasing mug shots yet. However, Saunier described the records of the suspects as "very limited in the State of Colorado."
More on this story as it develops. In the meantime, continue reading to learn more about the victims of this brutal crime.Update, 6:04 a.m. October 17: Photos and additional information are surfacing about some of the five victims murdered at Fero's Bar & Grill early yesterday in what Denver Police Chief Robert White is describing as a "homicide-arson," in which four women and one man were killed and then a fire was set; see our earlier coverage below. Here are more details about bar owner Young Fero and Ross Richter, who lost their lives under terrible but still mysterious circumstances. Young Fero, 63, was remembered fondly by regulars at the bar who spoke with Fox31. One, Chris Brady, described her as "a sweet old lady who makes great food.... I'm probably here three or four nights a week either playing poker or grabbing some food."
Indeed, Brady had been at the bar on the fatal evening, but left around 11 p.m., when he recalled the joint being all but deserted. The call about a fire there came in at around 1:50 a.m.Another patron, Michael Yazzie, dropped a flower at the bar in remembrance of Fero. He recalled her saying no one gave her flowers anymore.
Folks speaking with CBS4 had similarly warm recollections about Fero, who's said to have regularly given away food to the nearby homeless and always closed the place herself.
This last habit may explain why Fero was a victim -- although at this point, the police have named no suspects and haven't mentioned anything about motive.Meanwhile, the sole male victim, Ross Richter, 29, has been confirmed by KSHB-TV to have been a native of Overland Park, Kansas.
The station says he was a 2001 graduate of Shawnee Mission West High School who subsequently matriculated from Kansas State University before moving to Colorado a couple of years ago.
There's not much additional information on his Facebook page, but there are plenty of photos of him enjoying the great outdoors.
Here are some examples.Look below to see a Fox31 report on the crime, followed by our previous coverage. Continue to see our previous coverage, including photos and videos.