DENVER (CBS4) – Administrators of Denver Metro Crime Stoppers hope Memorial Day Weekend will be a chance to not only remember the members of the military who made the ultimate sacrifice in uniform, but also those who made it home only to lose their lives in unsolved murders.
“I wish I could have done something to protect him,” Priscilla Dominguez told CBS4 in February, referring to her son, Travis Mason.
It was a Saturday night in June 2016 when two suspects shot Mason three times at a marijuana dispensary in Aurora. The former Marine was working there as a security guard and had dreams of becoming a police officer. Police found him and rushed him to the hospital where he died from his injuries.
Months later, in February 2017, school district employee Richard Hammond was heading to work, about to make the drive from Denver to Colorado Springs. Police found Hammond in his car, shot to death, just blocks away from his home. Hammond was a retired Marine Major.
These two veterans were murdered in Colorado after serving their country. They were men who were able to make it back home from their tours of duty alive only to have their lives taken here. And two families were devastated to lose a loved one after they figured each was safe at home.
“A month from now when these are faded,” said Valdez, Hammond’s sister-in-law, referring to flyers asking for tips on the murder. “We’re going to come back and put more up because we’re never going to forget him.”
Family members of Hammond were posting the flyers around Denver right after his death. And eight months later, Mason’s mother was still wondering if anything could have prevented his murder.
“I just want justice, I want closure,” said Dominguez, Mason’s mother. “I want my family to know that this has come to an end and maybe we can have some kind of peace.”