DENVER (CBS4 ) – A Denver man who answered his door was shot five times and died on the floor of his apartment. It happened when armed robbers interrupted a pajama party and exchanged gunfire with the man’s roommate last month, according to police documents obtained Thursday by CBS4.
The details came to light Wednesday after the Denver District Attorney’s Office formally filed two dozen felony charges against each of the alleged robbers — Mark Howard, 34, and Roxanne Rodriguez-Hernandez, 24 — including murder, burglary, menacing and assault.
Marquis Johnson, 26, was shot Feb. 19 after answering a knock at his apartment door in the 7500 block of East Technology Way in the Denver Tech Center. Witnesses told police that Johnson and his roommate were hosting a pajama party for some of their female friends.
Those witnesses described a white or Hispanic female that entered the apartment once the door was opened. The female, dressed in all black, was armed with a handgun. She pointed it at Johnson, they said.
Behind her, a black man, also dressed in all black but also wearing a mask, and also armed with a handgun. He, too, pointed his gun at Johnson, witnesses said.
Johnson, one witness said, was known to have sold marijuana in the past.
Meanwhile, Johnson’s roommate, per his police interview, said he hid behind a kitchen island and drew a 38-caliber handgun belonging to Johnson. The roommate said the suspects shot Johnson. He then fired his gun at them.
The alleged robbers left and party-goers found a handgun and shell casings on the floor next to Johnson. The roommate had been shot in the leg. Another person received critical injuries.
The first call to police — one of many by residents of the area, according to investigators — was placed at 1:25 a.m.
Sixteen minutes later, a silver Chevrolet Suburban pulled up to the emergency room at Porter Hospital. Inside it were Rodriguez-Hernandez and Howard. Howard had suffered multiple gunshot wounds and went into surgery.
Howard also told hospital and police personnel that his name was Tyler Wright, according to the investigation’s documents. In fact, when Howard sneaked out of the hospital days later to avoid investigators, police issued a Crime Stoppers alert using “Tyler Wright” as his identity.
Meanwhile, police impounded the Suburban. Inside, they found black articles of clothing, including a mask, and a handgun with ammunition.
They also found the vehicle was registered to a Mark Howard.
Meanwhile, police at the apartment scene found shell casings and another yet another gun outside the apartment. It contained the same size and brand of ammunition as the gun found in the Suburban.
Within days, forensic testing determined the shell casings at the scene came from the guns found inside and outside the apartment.
A source also identified the real Tyler Wright, who had been in Nebraska during this time.
Investigators used photos taken at the hospital that showed Howard’s tattoos and matched them to file photos of his previously known tattoos to obtain his true identity.
Rodriguez-Hernandez and Howard were both arrested in the area of South Cherokee Street and West Alameda Avenue the night of Feb. 28.
Howard has four previous felony arrests with Denver police, according to online court records. He and Rodriguez-Hernandez are both currently jailed without bond.