DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police have released more information about the murder of a Sudanese man after a 911 operator allegedly said he had to return to Denver from Wheat Ridge to file a police report.
Sonny Jackson with Denver police said on Sunday at approximately 4:10 a.m. Jimma Reat, 25, a native of Sudan, along with other family members and a friend were returning home from a family visit.
“They were driving north on Sheridan Boulevard in a white, 2010 Dodge Charger, rental car near West 10th Avenue. The male occupants of a burgundy colored Jeep Cherokee began following and harassing them,” Jackson said in a statement.
Jackson said one of the occupants of the Jeep threw a bottle at the victim’s car, breaking the rear window. One of the suspects pointed a handgun.
Reat and his family drove into Wheat Ridge but the 911 operator told them to return to Denver. They returned to the area of the 5100 block of West 29th Avenue when the Jeep Cherokee stopped behind them.
“An unidentified Hispanic male exited the Jeep Cherokee armed with a handgun. The victim and other family members attempted to flee on foot. The unidentified suspect shot and killed Jimma Reat as he attempted to flee,” Jackson said.
The Jeep was later found abandoned at West Cedar Avenue and Zuni Street. Jackson said the Jeep was stolen from the 2400 block of South Ogden Street during the early morning hours of the same day.
“The owner of the Jeep had no involvement in, or knowledge of this crime,” Jackson said.
The suspects have been described as four or five, younger Hispanic males.
“The suspects may have stopped at a convenience store or liquor store earlier in the in the evening and purchased beer and may also be associated with, or travelling in a silver colored vehicle, possibly a Pontiac,” Jackson said.
The 911 communications department held a news conference Monday afternoon. Denver 911 Director Carl Simpson said the operator in the case did not follow the policies and procedures while he was on the 911 call; specifically instructing the men to return to Denver in order to file a police report.
Reat’s family says they’re outraged and want answers.
“This happens that seems like a fault on the dispatcher’s side. I’m very mad, I’m so mad,” Reat’s brother Gatwec Dengpathot said.
On Monday the 911 operator was placed on administrative leave. It’s unclear what punishments, if any may come.
Denver police say they would have no problem taking a crime report in Wheat Ridge.