Who is Michael Close? Where is he from?
Close has been charged with 15 counts – including first-degree murder – in connection to the shooting that killed Isabella Thallas and injured Darian Simon, 27, on June 10 in Denver.
Michael Close: What is the story?
Denver police homicide Detective Joseph Trujillo testified on Monday during the preliminary hearing that the shooting came after Michael Close and Simon argued over the latter’s dog pooping in a rock garden outside the suspect’s apartment complex on the 3000 block of Fox Street.
The couple had been walking the dog at around 11.40 am when Close is said to have opened his window and shouted: ‘Are you going to train that f**king dog ot just yell at it?’
Prosecutors played a video from neighborhood surveillance that showed Close opening his blinds and pointing the rifle at the pair as Simon bent over to pick up the pooch’s poop.
Thallus was killed almost instantly when Close opened fire on the couple, shooting 24 rounds. Police arriving on the scene spoke with a woman named Chelsea Thompson, who identified herself as Close’s girlfriend.
Thompson is said to have told police that Close called her crying.
What we know so far
She claimed to have repeatedly told Michael Close to turn himself in, only for the man to reply he was afraid to do so. He also repeatedly told her ‘he was sorry.’
Thompson alerted police that Close was driving towards the mountains in his black Mercedes SUV, which authorities found by pinging the man’s cell phone.
Jefferson County Sheriff’s deputies arrested Close in Pine Junction. Detective Trujillo also testified that Close repeatedly said ‘he was sorry’ as he was placed in custody.
Just moments later, Michael Close would call Thompson about the shooting.
No evidence was found to show that Close’s dog had been attacked and his accusation was found to have been made 10 minutes prior the couple leaving their apartment video, according to surveillance footage.
Thompson also told police that her boyfriend ‘was not mentally stable and had not been the entire time she knew him,’ the detective shared.
Detective Trujillo also noted that Thompson said that Close was diagnosed with personality disorder and depression but was never treated for either. She detailed Close’s history with drug abuse, as well, including excessive usage of cocaine, molly, mushrooms, ecstasy and ketamine. Thompson also shared that Close had resumed drinking after three years of sobriety.
A search warrant executed inside Close’s apartment found several open containers of alcohol, cocaine residue and six shell casings, Trujillo shared. Another 18 shells were found outside the apartment window.
Police recovered an assault-style weapon, a Glock 17 and a shotgun from the home, in addition to loads of ammunition and high capacity magazines that can hold more than 15 bullets – illegal in the state of Colorado.
A friend of Close told police that the suspect texted him moments after the shooting to say ‘Dude, I f**ked up really f**king bad, there’s no going back from this now.’
That same friend told authorities that he planned to take Close to see a therapist on the day of the shooting after he told him that he had been sexually abused as a child by his biological parents.
Boyfriend Darian Simon (pictured with his mother) is the co-founder of the clothing brand Be A Good Person. He suffered gunshot wounds to the leg
Another friend told police that Close told him via text that he ‘just snapped.’ Close apparently told this friend that he had spent some time in a mental institution at the age of 12.
Close had lost his job in the pandemic and had been unable to go to the gym, which was said to have been extremely important to him.
His defense attorney argued during cross-examination that Darian Simon was shown a photo lineup from his hospital room on June 14, pointing out the wrong suspect at the time.
Judge Teesch-Maguire still found credible evidence to hold Close, who is set for arraignment on January 4.
Close has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, nine counts of using a prohibited high-capacity magazine during a crime, two counts of prohibited use of a firearm, one count of disorderly conduct and four-sentence enhancers for violent crime.