A dozen family members living in the same east Denver apartment complex didn’t suspect that a man gunned down on a sidewalk below them Friday evening was their own cousin, Keyru Mustafa Lolo.
They didn’t learn he had been shot to death until hours later, when police knocked on their doors and showed them a picture of the 24-year-old convenience-store employee who was planning to return to college.
Lolo’s murder was shocking to them because he didn’t have any bad habits that might get him entangled in crime and was a friendly person with no enemies.
“He doesn’t even smoke cigarettes,” said Jemal Gisho, 32, a distant relative. “This is amazing. We’re confused about what is going on”.
After five days of investigation, police are asking for help or witnesses to the 9 p.m. shooting near Denver’s Lowry subdivision.
Denver Police Chief Gerry Whitman said detectives are following a couple of angles in this “tough” area of town, but he declined to provide more specifics.
“This was a pretty brutal shooting,” Whitman said. “He was shot multiple times.”
The shooting happened at Garden Court Apartments, 1150 Syracuse St., while Lolo was visiting several extended family members in the complex.
Plastic flowers, cards and candles were left at the spot on the sidewalk where Lolo fell. A layer of snow covered the makeshift memorial Wednesday morning.
“I was there when you were fighting for your life,” said a letter signed by “Mary.” “I was so sad and heartbroken.”
Lolo had moved to Denver about five months ago to be close to family members and to work, said Barite Tusa, 24, a cousin who lived near him in Minneapolis.
His family had immigrated to the U.S. from southern Ethiopia about 15 years ago, Gisho said.
After high school, Lolo was trained as a masseuse and had enrolled in Minnesota State University-Mankato, Tusa said.
“He was friendly,” she said. “He’s the kind of person who makes friends with people of all ages.”
He had to postpone college several times to get jobs.
Recently, Lolo registered at Community College of Aurora, his relatives said.
At 7 p.m. Friday, Lolo knocked on Gisho’s door, but he was working. Two hours later, Lolo was shot to death in the same apartment complex.
Tusa said several families that are related live in the complex, but none of them suspected their family members would be at risk because they wouldn’t be out that late.
“We have very strong values,” she said. “We didn’t think it could be our family.”
Whitman said police are investigating all possible angles, including that Lolo was shot randomly.
Lolo’s family came to town for his funeral Monday, Gisho said.
Kirk Mitchell: 303-954-1206 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Denver Police join forces to find who killed Keyru Mustafa Lolo
One week ago today, shots rang out at 1150 North Syracuse Street, an apartment complex — and shortly thereafter, Keyru Mustafa Lolo, 24, was dead. Given that Lolo was a recent immigrant from Ethiopia, his case might not have ordinarily been treated as a high priority — but Lolo’s large family, and Denver’s Ethiopian community as a whole, have kept the heat on, and the Denver Police Department has responded. This morning at 10 a.m. at the Syracuse Street address above, the DPD will join with Lolo’s loved ones to distribute fliers in the hope of locating the murderer or murderers in question. Sure, it’s a media event, but one that should bring additional attention to a very worthy campaign — for justice. Look below for more information:
Denver Police Department release:
The Denver Police Department along with the family and friends of Keyru Mustafa Lolo will be gathering tomorrow morning to seek out information on the murder of Mr. Lolo. We invite the media to join us as we distribute flyers in the area.
The homicide happened on Friday, October 16, 2009 at approximately 8:57 p.m. the Denver Police Department received a call of shots fired at 1150 Syracuse Street. When Officers arrived on scene, they found Keyru Mustafa Lolo outside between apartment buildings with multiple gunshot wounds. Mr. Lolo was transported to Denver Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead. At this time, there are no suspects.
We will be meeting Friday, October 23, 2009, at 10:00 a.m. at the Garden Court Apartments Clubhouse which is located at 1150 Syracuse Street.
DENVER (CBS4) ?Police in Denver are asking the community for help solving the murder of an Ethiopian immigrant. Keyru Lolo, 24, was shot and killed last week in a Lowry neighborhood.
Friday, detectives asked Lolo’s family and friends to canvass the neighborhood where he shot. They handed out flyers in hopes that a witness will come forward.
Police have no suspects and do not believe Lolo’s shooting was racially motivated.
Officers were called to the Garden Court Community apartment building at 1150 Syracuse Street just before 9 p.m. Oct. 16, 2009, after getting reports of numerous shots being fired. When they arrived, officers found Lolo had been shot and killed in the building’s courtyard.
Lolo was taken to Denver Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.
Lolo is originally from Ethiopia and has lived in the Denver area a short time.
His family said he has no enemies. They say Lolo was visiting family members in the complex and don’t know why he had gone outside or where he was going.
Lolo’s family has increased the reward leading to an arrest in his death, from $2,000 to $10,000.
Anyone with any information is asked to call Denver police at (720) 913-2000 or Crime Stoppers at (720) 913-STOP (7867).