By Melissa Garcia

DENVER (CBS4)– Police are investigating the deadly shooting of a teenager when the gunman took off before police arrived.

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Deonta McDonald, 19, was shot and killed outside the front door of the apartment where he was staying on South Birch Street and Louisiana Avenue around 12:58 a.m. Wednesday.

His roommates narrowly missed the spray of bullets that took Deonta’s life outside the Kimberly Ann apartments.

Deonte McDonald (credit: GoFundMe)

Deonte McDonald (credit: GoFundMe)

“It was loud pops. (I heard) bam, bam, bam, bam, bam,” said one of Deonta’s roommates. “I just kind of ducked, not knowing what it (was).”

She said that Deonta had just stepped outside of the unit where he was living, when he was shot in the head.

“I was standing right there,” she added. “My daughter was standing right there. It could have been any of us.”

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The shooter took off before police officers arrived. Deonta was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

Melted wax coated the sidewalk outside of the apartment complex where friends gathered for a candlelight vigil.

“He was an amazing kid,” said one of his roommates. “He was really grateful. Every morning he would wake up and say ‘Thank you so much for having me, and for allowing me to have a place to wake up to every day.”

Deonta was the oldest of six children. Family members described him as positive-minded, kind, and caring. They donated his organs and had already found a recipient for his liver.

Deonta’s mom said that he wanted to start a food bank to feed homeless single mothers. He also aspired to mentor young boys who were growing up without fathers.

His aunt started a GoFundMe page asking for help with the cost of his funeral.

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Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to