ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4) – New details have emerged about a white supremacist shot and killed by Englewood Police.
An officer shot Jeremiah Barnum Thursday night after Barnum showed his own weapon. Barnum served time for a high-profile hate crime back in 1997.
The incident with police happened in a Walgreens parking lot at Broadway and Dartmouth. Police say Barnum reached for a weapon in his waistband after ignoring officers’ orders.
“The first reaction was, ‘Wow.’ The second and almost immediate reaction was, ‘I wasn’t terribly surprised,’ ” said Tim Twining, who prosecuted the case in 1997.
In 1997 Barnum and Nathan Thill were charged with the murder of Oumar Dia, an African immigrant. It was one of the highest profile hate crimes of the 1990s. Thill got life in prison and Barnum spent the next dozen years or so behind bars.
Former Gov. Bill Ritter was the district attorney at the time.
“This was one of the most important cases handled by the Denver District Attorney’s Office in my entire career,” Ritter said. “The fact that Jeremiah Barnum was killed today, that gives me no glee, no satisfaction.”
Barnum’s daughter, Natasha Baggett, told CBS4 her father was a misunderstood man trying to change his life.
“He just really wanted to reconnect with his family, live an honest lifestyle,” Baggett said. “He wasn’t a hateful person; maybe when he was younger but the Jeremiah Barnum I know was not a hateful person.”
Baggett said Barnum made a lot of enemies in prison, but she isn’t sure how the standoff with police happened.
CBS4 Video Archive Feature
Watch a 30 minute special produced by CBS4 about the aftermath of the 1997 murder. A CBS4 crew traveled to West Africa and to Oumar Dia’s homeland. See in the special how Dia’s life in Denver meant so much to people around the world: Oumar Dia’s Legacy.