DENVER (CBS4) – A fatal stabbing just blocks from the state Capitol has the neighborhood on edge.

The attack happened after 2 a.m. Friday in the 1300 block of Pennsylvania. The victim has been identified as Ryan Haldeman, 28.

The stabbing took place outside Pub on Penn. It’s filled with 20- and 30-year-olds who form a community. They also live in the neighborhood. Many who frequent the bar expressed anger and grief over who they say was a sweet soul who would give the shirt off his back.

“He is the definition of a sweetheart. He is the one you always wanted to be around,” Pub on Penn employee Heather Plambeck said.

Haldeman’s friends at the Pub on Penn were so overcome with grief, many could not talk on camera, but the people who served him did.

“I just immediately got sick,” Plambeck said.

They were deeply saddened over the fatal stabbing of a friend, just one block away from the pub.

“I was honestly scared to leave my house and that’s not a good feeling when you can’t go out in your own neighborhood,” Plambeck said.

Plambeck said Haldeman cared deeply about others.

“It was cold and he let me wear his jacket all the way home. He didn’t even ask for it back when he had to walk even farther,” she said.

Pub on Penn employee Renee Bussenger said Haldeman always turned the conversation away from himself.

“He was more of the person that asked about you. He didn’t give you much about him. He was very like, ‘How are you doing, how are you feeling?’ ” Bussenger said.

“He had an enormous amount of empathy and compassion,” Haldmen’s sister Lauren Haldmen said over the phone from Iowa.

Lauren Haldmen said he had travelled to South America to help children.

“He spent some time volunteering in Brazil to teach children down there English and when he wasn’t there he was working with children in Denver,” she said.

“He would’ve turned around and told that guy, ‘Take the clothes off my back. You can have anything you want,’ ” Plambeck said.

The suspect is described as a black male anywhere from 20 to 45 years old, 6 feet tall, 180 pounds with a dark complexion and salt-and-pepper facial stubble. He was also wearing a blue or black coat with white pants. Anyone with information is asked to call Denver police.


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