DENVER (CBS4) – Isabella Thallas was shot and killed in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood on Wednesday, her family confirmed. Her boyfriend, Darian Simon, was shot twice but is expected to survive. Simon told police the shooter yelled at them about his dog before he opened fire.
“My heart just goes out to the family, just sending lots of love and prayers and care to the family at this time,” said Priscilla Rahn, a family friend. “We just want to wrap our arms around the family and help support and relieve some of that stress.”
Rahn created a GoFundMe account to help the family. She told CBS4 on Thursday that she is grateful for the immediate response from the community, already quadrupling their initial goal by the end of the first day she launched the page.
Thallas and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, were shot near 29th and Huron Street.
Family members say Thallas just turned 21 last week.
“Today we lost a daughter, sister, granddaughter, niece and friend,” her mother, Ana Thallas, wrote. “The Lord called her home and she is resting in peace with Him.”
On Thursday, people began leaving candles and flowers at the scene.
Ana Thallas invited mourners to a candlelight vigil at West 31st and Fox Street at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
“We asked that you kindly respect our privacy and Isabella’s life by keeping this positive and loving,” Ana Thallas wrote.
Isabella Thallas was the oldest of three siblings, her mother said.
Simon developed the ‘Be A Good Person‘ brand. He and the co-owner of the company spoke to CBS4 last fall on Small Business Saturday. They shared the message behind the brand and showed their passion for spreading it across Colorado.
“It’s not be a good white person, be a good black person, be a good straight person,” Simon said in November 2019. “It should be cool to be a good person; it should be cool to be a positive to one another.”
The brand became important to the Thallas family, Simon and Isabella took a photo with her siblings to support its message. Her mother shared that photo with CBS4 on Thursday. The family also wore clothing from the company at the vigil. The business decided to close its retail store until further notice.
“It inspires an act of kindness around yourself, around others,” Simon said of the brand last fall to CBS4.
The suspect, 36-year-old Michael Close, was quickly tracked down in the small town of Pine Junction. Denver police say Close faces a first-degree murder charge as well as an aggravated assault charge.
The family declined a request to speak to CBS4, explaining they want to respect the investigation. Friends shocked by the loss of Thallas hope the focus can remain on her life and the impact she had on others.
“We want to encourage people to come and just remember such a beautiful young lady,” Rahn said.