DENVER (CBS4) – Police in Denver are searching for a group of suspects they say should be considered armed and dangerous following a fatal shooting Tuesday night. The shooting happened in west Denver outside of the Yeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudical Seminary near West Colfax Avenue and North Stuart Street. The victim is identified as Shmuel Silverberg.
Police say it was part of a crime spree that included a carjacking in which a person was badly hurt.
Investigators say it started with a call for a carjacking at 10:50 p.m. near Colfax Avenue and Grape Street. They say one of the suspects entered a Honda CRV with the driver inside and pointed a gun at them. The victim was not hurt.
At around 11:10 p.m., the suspects reportedly robbed a man walking near Colfax Avenue and Lafayette Street. Police say they were wearing masks and shot the man who is in the hospital.
Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen says that victim is “battling for his life.”
About 20 minutes later, investigators say the suspects approached Silverberg, 18, walking out of Yeshiva Toras Chaim Talmudical Seminary and fired at least one weapon at him. The victim was hit and taken to the hospital where he died.
“The victim was walking outside of the school when the suspects approached and began firing at the victim. We don’t know of there was any interaction between the two at this point,” said DPD Commander Matt Clark.
A funeral home live streamed an end of life service for Silverberg on Wednesday morning. It was evident by watching, Silverberg will be missed.
“Shmueli, Shmueli, where are you?” cried out a Rabbi. “I walked to daven this morning and you are supposed to be there!”
Following the shooting, the same suspects reportedly burglarized a business in Lakewood and stole a Toyota RAV4.
Lakewood police say there was a burglary early Wednesday morning, and a car was stolen from a dealership in southwest Lakewood. The 1998 Black Rav4, with the Colorado license plate QFO701, was awaiting repairs and was not a car that belonged to the dealership. Investigators have reviewed surveillance footage, but say suspect descriptions are difficult because all individuals were wearing face coverings and gloves.
Police said they are asking for the public’s help trying to locate the following vehicles as part of the investigation:
– 2018 maroon Honda CRV, Colorado License Plate CGOW44
– 2020 dark blue Toyota Camry, Colorado License Plate AGNZ29
– Black 1998 Toyota RAV4, Colorado License Plate QFO701
On Wednesday night none of the stolen cars had been recovered.
Pazen says at this point they do not believe this was a bias-motivated crime, but they are not ruling it out.
“We cannot allow this to become status quo,” Pazen said. “Our community is our eyes and ears. They help us to identify individuals who are responsible for crimes like this.”
Yeshiva Toras Chaim released this statement, “Our Yeshiva Toras Chaim community is grief stricken at the killing of one of our students overnight. We are caring for our faculty, staff, students, and their families in the face of this tragic and incomprehensible act of violence. We are grateful for the support we are receiving from our Denver community and from around the country, and for the work of local law enforcement authorities who have made this their top priority. Our community is seeking solace and privacy at this time. Press questions can be directed to 303-316-6457.”
Police say they are working with multiple witnesses and are looking at surveillance video.
Anyone who spots the vehicles or has more information about the suspects is asked to call Denver police. Tips can also be submitted to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-7867.