DENVER (CBS4) – A family is pleading for help days after their loved one was shot and killed in Denver last Thursday night. It happened on the pedestrian bridge over Interstate 25 near East Evans Avenue, and the gunman is still on the run.
“We need justice. We need answers,” Michelle McCurry, the victim’s cousin, said.
McCurry said her cousin, Luis Nieves, was more like a little brother. She described him as a hardworking and caring man whose smile could light up a room.
“That smile! He was a little bit of a goofball,” she said. “He just enjoyed life, period.”
Yet his vibrant life came to a dark end just before his 32nd birthday, and his family doesn’t understand why.
“He had no enemies,” McCurry told CBS4’s Kelly Werthmann. “This is a shock to all of us because of that fact. We have reason to believe he was in that area on his way home from work. He didn’t have a vehicle so he relied a lot on the RTD and light rail stations.”
Denver police are investigating Nieves’ murder, and at this point, told CBS4 they cannot say if he was targeted. The only information authorities have shared, and all McCurry said the family knows, is on the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers alert shared over the weekend.
It shows a grainy image of a person of interest and an example of what may be the suspect’s vehicle – a rust or orange colored Ford SUV.
“This is a very common area that people use,” McCurry said of the location her cousin was shot. “For me, it’s hard to believe that nobody saw anything. Somebody had to see something. We’re asking people to come forward. You may think it’s nothing, but it may help lead to some justice for my cousin. That’s what we’re seeking.”
McCurry explained she is also seeking changes at bus stops and light rail stations, like better security or at least more lighting.
“I understand that maybe we can’t have security posted at every single station, but why are we not patrolling?” she questioned. “Why is there not better cameras? It doesn’t make sense. All this gun violence, lack of security at these RTD stations. Criminals are using these bus depots and transportation systems to seek out people.”
She also said she and members of her family are scared to use public transportation following Nieves’ murder. McCurry is even too afraid to visit the place her beloved cousin died, yet she is keeping faith someone will come forward to identify his killer.
“I know this person has to be somebody’s son, somebody’s nephew, somebody’s brother,” she said, holding back tears. “Do the right thing. If it was me, I know it would be the hardest thing to turn in my own family member, but somebody knows something.”
There is a reward for information leading to an arrest. To be eligible for the award and to remain anonymous, tipsters must call: 720-913-STOP (7867).
The victim’s family has also set up a GoFundMe page to help increase the reward and to support Nieves’ only sibling.