By Tom Mustin
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– “I heard four quick gunshots,” said Sherry Larson as she fought back tears while describing the shooting death of her Englewood neighbor.
“The man was lying here and they turned him and were working on him and there was blood everywhere,” she told CBS4’s Tom Mustin.
Saturday around 8 p.m. Nick Lewis, 33, the popular chef at Denver’s Blackbird Public House, had been walking home from the 7-Eleven near South Acoma Street. The single father of an 8-year-old boy was struck by several bullets, and later died at the hospital.
Sherry told police she heard a car speed away, but had no other details, “The police asked if there was ever any gang activity or incidents. I said ‘No’ because it’s a very quiet neighborhood.”
Lewis’s fiancé told CBS4 that his wallet and money were not taken.
Tuesday, spray painted evidence markers lined the grass of neighbor Richard Burton.
Burton spoke to Lewis’s family after the shooting. He says they’re struggling to figure out why he was targeted in an apparently random crime.
“They said they couldn’t believe it. That he’s such a nice kind guy. Real gentle. They have no idea for a reason or why this could happen. Pretty sad,” said Burton.
On Blackbird’s Facebook page- coworkers of the man they called “Chef Nick” said they were “having a hard time understanding how such a kind and gentle person could be taken from us in such a violent manner. ”
And as police search for answers in a disturbing crime, Larson is hoping for justice, “It’s a scary world we live in. I hope they catch whoever did it. it was senseless.”
Table to Tavern released this statement to CBS4: “Nick Lewis was our executive chef for Table to Tavern. It is hard to imagine he is gone as he didnt have a mean bone in his body. Nick was a good friend to everyone he worked with. He was a creative and inspiring chef who even when working hard had a smile on his face. He demanded those that work for him work hard but he never raised his voice or spoke disrespectfully to those who were in his kitchen.
He was quick with a joke when someone needed to be lifted up and he went out of his way to help anyone who needed no matter how busy he already was. Everyone in our company knew that Nick’s pride and joy was his son Liam. Liam was Nick’s favorite topic of conversation and he enjoyed coaching him and hanging out with him whenever he could. Nick loved the outdoors and everything they have to offer.
Nick will be sorely missed by Table to Tavern. He was deeply loved by all who work here and his absence has left the restaurants feeling less vibrant and full.”
Englewood police say they have no suspect information and no motive for the crime. Detectives would like to talk to anyone who was in the area of South Acoma and West Cornell between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. Saturday.
If you have any information, call the Englewood Police Department at (303) 761-7410.