DENVER (CBS4) – Three people are dead after a shooting on Thursday night in Denver at a home near a school and a suspect — Bustaman Kartabrata — is in custody. One woman died at the crime scene and a man and a young girl were taken to the hospital where they died soon afterwards.
The house is located on South Golden Way near DSST: Henry Middle School. That’s close to Sheridan Boulevard and Highway 285.
Kartabrata, 59, was taken into custody after police tracked him down and tentatively faces first degree murder charges. Authorities have not yet said what might have led to shots being fired, but they said he knew the people who lived at the home well.
They also said a fourth person was hurt but not by gunfire, and a boy was able to escape from the home unharmed.
A neighbor who asked not to be identified told CBS4 the people who live in the home are a nice suburban Denver family.
Joseph McDaniels, his young daughter and her mother died from gunshot wounds.
“It was a mother and father and a grandma and two nice young kids,” she said. “They played outside and they came trick-or-treating — they did all those things. They were just pleasant kids.”
The family was getting ready to move to Mississippi, according to neighbors. They had just sold their home, and Friday was supposed to be their moving day.
Jedidiah Williamson lives across the street from the home and says the family was very friendly.
“They were just about to move out of state. They were supposed to close on their house today. So for this to happen, this makes a shocking thing even worse,” said Williamson.
“In all my time as a police officer, this is one of the most emotional cases that I’ve ever dealt with. And I’m not talking about just myself, everybody that was involved in this. From the victim advocates to the hospital workers were very shaken by this,” Denver police spokesman Joe Montoya said.
Denver Public Schools said McDaniels was a school bus driver for the district. Neighbors say his daughter went to Traylor Academy, just down the street from their home.
“Our daughter Lydia died last summer, suddenly. So this is the second death on the block in the last year. And the third death at Traylor, one of the teachers died in May,” said Williamson. “So it’s been really hard for the neighborhood.”