DENVER (CBS4)– Police in Denver continue to search for the man who tried to steal a car and then struck a man who tried to stop him, killing him. Neighbors describe the victim as a hard worker and nice guy.
“He’s just a nice man, really nice. He’s always friendly… nobody deserves that, it’s just sad,” said neighbor GiGi Glentz.
Heartbroken family members told CBS4 that William Romo-Rodriguez was a good, hardworking man. Romo-Rodriguez, 42, was a mechanic at the shop located near Alameda and Hazel Court. It was there that officer said he died trying to stop a car thief.
About 4:30 a.m. Friday, a man tried to steal a Volvo from the shop. Romo-Rodriguez 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 Romo was run over or struck by the car, but he died a couple of hours after he was rushed to the hospital with critical injuries.
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.
“He said, ‘Can I go with you?’ and he said, ‘Sure’ and they start walking back and her husband yells, ‘I think this is the guy!'” said neighbor Charlene Goetzfrietz.
Investigators searched the neighborhood Friday morning but could not find the suspect. For several hours they examined the vehicle for evidence that might help identify the man they’re looking for.
“We’re talking to everybody we can to determine what this person looks like and does anybody know him?” said Jackson.
Police hope their detective work, coupled with descriptions from those neighbors, will help develop a suspect sketch to give the public an idea who they are looking for.
Anyone with information is asked to call Denver Police.