A Denver resident has been arrested because investigators suspect he was involved in the shooting of two boys, one fatally, in his backyard on High Street.
A 14-year-old boy called 911 shortly after 2 a.m. on Oct. 9. He said he was dying of a gunshot wound and that his friend was already dead, according to a police officer’s affidavit. The victim reportedly apologized, but it’s unclear why.
The boy couldn’t say where he was, but the city’s ShotSpotter system had recorded the shots and traced the location to the 2800 block of Race Street, just northwest of City Park Golf Course. Police officers found the two young men lying unresponsive, both appearing to have been shot, in a far corner of a backyard of 2830 High Street. A semiautomatic handgun was on the ground nearby, according to the affidavit.
Officers found a number of mature marijuana plants in the yard, some growing in 5-gallon orange buckets, according to the affidavit. They also found marijuana leaves in the alley behind the yard, and found a single similarly potted plant a few yards down.
Police then went to the house at 2830 N. High Street and took its occupants, Keith David Hammock and a woman who has not been charged, to police headquarters.
The mother of the 14-year-old told officers that her son had been shot twice, including a second time while he was climbing over a fence, and that he may be paralyzed from the waist down.
The boy who died has been identified as Keylin Mosely, age 15, according to the affidavit.
The investigation so far:
Hammock, 48, told police that someone had jumped over the fence into his backyard, the affidavit states. He said that his motion-detecting light turned on, showing “movement or wrestling,” and that when he went out back he found “two kids … on the ground near the compost heap,” one of them holding an activated cell phone.
He became alarmed when he was told it was a homicide investigation, asking who died, according to the affidavit. He didn’t want to say more without an attorney present, the document states.
The woman said that Hammock was her roommate and ex-boyfriend, and that she owned the house. She said Hammock owned the marijuana plants in the backyard. She was asleep until Hammock woke her up to talk to police officers, she said.
Around 9 a.m., a medical examiner found a “small caliber” bullet, “possibly a 0.22” according to the affidavit. A search of the residents found “two long rifles, spent cartridge casings on the floor” and in the window sill, and ammunition for a 0.22-caliber firearm, all located in a bedroom overlooking the backyard. That bedroom was Hammock’s, according to the woman.
Hammock’s full name, Keith David Hammock, matches that of the operator of Rocky Mtn. Rasta Transportation. “Keith-David Hammock” is the operator of a bus service that takes people around Denver’s party scene, according to Westword.
Facebook user Jessica LeRoux, the owner of Twirling Hippy Confections, identified “Rasta Keith” as the man who had been arrested. No one answered the phone at a number associated with the business.
“I know this man, known him for years. Know him for a fact to be extremely peaceful and kind,” LeRoux posted.
Hammock is being held on suspicion of murder, attempted murder and investigation of felony marijuana cultivation. A local defense attorney, Terry O’Malley, told ABC7 that home-defense laws do not allow the use of deadly force against people outside a home.