A dispute over dog poop turned fatal earlier this year when Michael Close fired 24 shots from a semi-automatic rifle at Isabella Thallas and her boyfriend Darian Simon, prosecutors said. The details of the June 10 attack that killed Thallas, 21, and wounded Simon, 27, were revealed during Close’s preliminary hearing on Monday, KDVR reported.
Denver police homicide Detective Joseph Trujillo testified at the hearing that Close used a high-powered semi-automatic rifle in the shooting, which he said came after Simon’s dog pooped in a rock garden outside Close’s apartment building in the Ballpark neighborhood at around 11:40 a.m., KDVR reported from the hearing. According to Trujillo, Close yelled at Simon and Thallas from his window, “Are you going to train that f****** dog or just yell at it?”
The outlet also reported that surveillance video was shown during Close’s hearing and it showed Close pointing the gun at the couple and firing 24 rounds at them. Simon, who was bending to pick up the dog’s poop, survived the attack but was shot twice in the legs. Thallas was killed almost instantly, prosecutors said.
Judge Lisa Teesch-Maguire ordered that Close, 36, continue to be held at Denver’s downtown detention center without bond. He is facing charges for two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, nine counts of using a prohibited high-capacity magazine during a crime, two counts of prohibited use of a firearm and one count of disorderly conduct. His arraignment is set for January 4, public records show.
Close Called His Girlfriend & Texted a Friend After the Fatal Shooting Confessing to His Actions, Investigators Said
Trujillo also testified that police arrived on the scene and met Close’s girlfriend, Chelsea Thompson, who told them Close had just called her. She said he was crying and mumbled that he’d just “shot and killed two people,” KDVR reported. She said he’d taken off because he was afraid to turn himself in.
Trujillo also said that when police officers eventually took Close into custody, he was crying and apologizing for his actions. Trujillo testified that Thompson said Close “was not mentally stable and had not been the entire time she knew him.” She said he had a personality disorder but wasn’t being treated for it and he had a history of drug abuse.
Another friend told detectives that Close messaged him after the fatal shooting and wrote, “Dude, I f***** up really f****** bad, there’s no going back from this now,” KDVR reported.
Thallas, Who Was Described as ‘Kind’ & ‘Humble’ Had Just Turned 21 & a Mural of Her Face Was Painted in the Neighborhood
Thallas’ mom, Ana Thallas, said her daughter was kind and humble: “It didn’t matter who you were or what you were. Isabella was there and would support you,” she told KDVR. She said Thallas had just turned 21 days before she was killed. The young woman was the oldest of three kids.
In the week following her death, Denver artist Thomas Evans, known as Detour, painted a mural of her face in the neighborhood, at the corner of 17th and Park avenues. Ana Thallas said the mural was a fantastic idea, “I know that her energy and her soul and everything about her and the people that love her the most are all right here,” she told 9News.
She also said work was ongoing to renovate the park that her daughter’s mural is watching over, and she is working with the city to rename the park. She said it will give “a voice for a voiceless and those that don’t have murals like this and don’t have places to go and mourn their children or whomever they have lost to gun violence. Here it is! The only place in Denver, guys.”