By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4)– Charges of first-degree murder have been filed against a homeless man who claims he killed a security guard to protect himself.

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It was early morning on May 25, when the security guard was found stabbed to death in a garage at the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

(credit: CBS)

Caleb Schroeder was later tracked through the victim’s phone and arrested, carrying a knife, according to police.

Caleb Schroeder (credit: CBS)

At the jail, CBS4 Investigator Rick Sallinger asked Schroeder, “Did you kill that security guard?”

Through a video monitor Schroeder replied, ”Did I kill the security guard? In self-defense, yes, I did.”

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger interviews Caleb Schroeder
(credit: CBS)

He says he had been rummaging through the garbage for cigarettes when the guard, 39-year-old Scott Tice, approached him.

“He told me I had to leave the premises at which point he was being very rude it got more confrontational,” Schroeder said.

(credit: CBS)

He added the guard did not have a gun, but reached into his pocket during the confrontation.

Schroeder had been released from the Arapahoe County jail after being sentenced to probation in another case.

(credit: CBS)

His plea deal allowed him to go free, but he would have to report to probation to arrange mental health treatment. He did not report.

He told CBS4’s Sallinger that he did not go to that appointment because he did not have transportation.

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(credit: CBS)

Prosecutors thought Schroeder was going to continue to be in custody after his sentencing, but a judge had not yet signed an arrest warrant in still another case.

The Arapahoe District Attorney’s Senior Chief Deputy Rich Orman told CBS4, “Once in a while people are given probation and they go out and do horrible things to innocent people when they are released. This is reality.”

(credit: CBS)

Orman added they couldn’t stop community-based supervision for people.

Schroeder appeared unknowing of the circumstances surrounding his cases.

(credit: CBS)

“No, I was not aware the judge had ordered my release. The county jail, which I believe is Arapahoe jail, had ordered a release for me,” he said.

What has happened at the garage cannot be reversed. Regrets can only go so far, Schroeder gave his, “I feel very sorry for the family, not sorry, but I do apologize.”

(credit: CBS)

The Arapahoe District Attorney’s Office extended it’s thoughts and prayers to the family of Tice. His employer, Allied Universal Security said he had worked for the company for 10 years.

(credit: CBS)

Scott’s family has requested that anyone wishing to honor his legacy may make a donation to the following organization that supports homeless individuals in Denver: St. Clare’s Ministries, The Episcopal Church in Colorado, in Scott’s name.

Allied Universal released this statement on Tice’s death:

“We send our deepest condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of long-time security professional, Scott Tice, who recently lost his life during the course of his duty. We are cooperating with police on the investigation of his death.

“Scott was a 10-year, loyal member of the Allied Universal family. We grieve deeply on his loss and are keeping his family and friends in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.”

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CBS4’s Rick Sallinger is a Peabody award winning reporter who has been with the station more than two decades doing hard news and investigative reporting. Follow him on Twitter @ricksallinger.