DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are investigating an attempted car theft as a homicide where the victim tried to stop the thief.

“You wake up, open the door and see all the commotion,” said witness Charlene Goetzfrietz.

About 4:30 a.m. Friday, a man tried to steal a Volvo from a car business near West Alameda Avenue and South Hazel Court. The owner ran out to stop the suspect but he was struck by the vehicle.

“This individual went out, interrupted the auto theft in progress and confronted the suspect and in confronting him they got tangled up in a confrontation,” said Denver Police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

Police are not sure whether the victim was run over or struck by the car.

The victim was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries but shortly before 7 a.m. police said he had died.

Neighbors told police that the suspect tried to blend in to the scene and even walked back to the crime scene with a curious neighbor until someone recognized him and he ran away.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

“It just really shocks me that someone can be so callous with someone else’s life. He just turned 42, it’s his birthday and now he’s… I don’t know, it’s not fair. It makes me fell unsafe a little bit,” said neighbor GiGi Glentz.

Officers searched for the suspect, at times getting close but he got away. Investigators have not released a suspect description. Police dogs assisted the search.

“Hopefully they catch him soon and he gets what he deserves,” said Glentz.

The crime scene remained cordoned off at noon as officers continued to search for evidence.

Police believe the car involved in the attempted theft was associated with the business but investigators are not sure who is the owner of the vehicle.

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