Relatives of a 21-year-old woman who was shot dead in Denver last year filed a wrongful death complaint on Tuesday against the alleged shooter and the former Denver police sergeant whose AK-47 was used in the murder.
Lawyers for Isabella Thallas’ father Joshua Thallas and her boyfriend Darian Simon have filed a wrongful death lawsuit in Denver District Court. Simon was also shot dead in the incident on June 10, but survived.
Simon’s attorney Craig Silverman said he and those close to Thallas hope to use the trial to learn more about how the shooting happened, the suspect’s relationship with the sergeant, and how the suspect acquired the AK-47 which would have been used in the murder. .
âWe should be celebrating Bella’s 22nd birthday and instead we are taking legal action to find out how and why she was killed,â Silverman said.
The lawsuit alleges that Dan Politica, the former Denver police sergeant, did not store the rifle safely at his home, allowing alleged shooter Michael Close to take it.
But Silverman still wants to know why Close wasn’t accused of stealing the gun and why the gun wasn’t reported as stolen until more than a week after Thallas’ death.
âWe were given little information about Politica’s relationship with the murderer, other than that they were friends and confidants and grew up together on the Denver subway,â Silverman said. âWe want to know why the murderer was in possession of this weapon, which was banned in Denver. We also want to know how he got the ammo and high capacity magazines that are banned in Colorado. “
Close opened fire on Thallas and Simon on June 10 as the couple walked their dog, prosecutors said. Close yelled at the couple about their dog just before the shooting.
Close has pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity to the 16 counts he faces in connection with the shooting in the Ballpark neighborhood.
Close and Politica had been friends for two decades, according to a transcript of the Nov. 16 court testimony of Denver Police Detective Joseph Trujillo, who is investigating the shooting. In interviews with investigators, Politica said he was concerned about Close’s mental health.
Close texting to Politica just before the shooting that his dog had been attacked by other dogs and that he was going to murder someone.
Minutes after the shooting, Close left a voicemail message on Politica’s phone saying he had “done something really wrong” and “there is no going back now,” Trujillo said.
Politica resigned from the department in March. Denver Police previously said the gun was not issued by the department and that Politica informed the department that the gun was missing after learning it may have been used in the shooting.
Close remains in custody and Politica attorney Reid Elkus on Tuesday declined to speak to the Denver Post about the incident.
âThere will be no justice for Darian or Bella’s family, so the best we can do is provide them with the truth about what happened,â Silverman said. âThis is what victims need when a terrible violent crime occurs – they want answers. They have a right to the truth.