DENVER (CBS4) – The wife of an RTD security officer shot and killed says her husband loved protecting people.
“We always kissed goodbye and it just felt like, ‘Goodbye honey, have a goodnight,’ and ‘Good night dad.’ It just felt like he was going to work,” Shellie Von Lanken said.
Shellie Von Lanken says that all changed when she got a knock on her door in the middle of the night notifying her that her husband Scott would not be coming home.
“It’s like a nightmare … you just want someone to wake you up so bad … it just doesn’t seem real,” Shellie said.
Von Lanken worked as an RTD security officer And was on duty Tuesday night. Investigators say he was directing two women to the light rail when a man, now identified as Joshua Cummings, allegedly shot Von Lanken at point-blank range.
Denver Police Chief Robert White say they are looking into one possible motive.
“We are investigating to determine if the loss of his life had anything to do with the fact that he was wearing a uniform,” White said at a news conference on Wednesday.
Shellie says that uniform was one of many her husband wore over the years. He first worked as a police officer before becoming a pastor, and then most recently taking on his security role with RTD.
“He was just such a man of integrity and character and had such passion,” Shellie said. “He really just wanted to help people.”
Shellie says the sudden loss of her husband has left her and their twin daughters asking, “Why?”
“Why did this happen? Who did this? Why would they take somebody that a family loved so much. It doesn’t mean anything to him but he just tore our family apart,” she said.
Her message to other families now is to hold each other close.
“We never ever dreamed he wouldn’t come home,” Shellie said.
Karen Morfitt joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2013. She covers a variety of stories in and around the Denver metro area. Connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter @karenmorfitt or email her tips.