A Denver man accused of fatally shooting a 21-year-old woman following a dispute over the woman and her boyfriend taking their dog to the bathroom outside his Ballpark neighborhood home has been charged with first-degree murder.
Denver District Attorney Beth McCann on Tuesday announced the murder charge against 36-year old Michael R. Close, along with several other criminal charges, including charges for using a high-capacity ammunition magazine.
The shooting occurred on June 10 when police said Close began yelling at the couple as they were taking their dog to the bathroom. The victim told police he had given his dog a command to use the bathroom and then “a person yelled at him through a ground floor apartment asking if the victim was going to train the dog or just yell at it,” according to a Denver police probable cause statement.
Police said Close then began firing at the couple from his apartment, killing Isabella Thallas.
The medical examiner’s autopsy report concluded that Thallas died from a gunshot wound and that the manner of death is homicide. Her boyfriend, Darian Simon, was shot twice but is expected to survive.
Close was apprehended by the Park County Sheriff’s Office after he was stopped in his vehicle on U.S. 285. Deputies found a rifle and a handgun on the floor of the front passenger seat, authorities said.
In addition to two counts of first-degree murder, Close also faces two counts of criminal attempt to commit murder in the first degree, two counts of first-degree assault, six counts of using a prohibited large-capacity magazine during the commission of a crime, three counts of possessing a prohibited large-capacity magazine, and one count of disorderly conduct.
Close has no previous criminal record in Colorado.
The dog was uninjured in the shooting.
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