Michael Close charged with murdering Isabella Thallas in Ballpark shooting

The District Attorney’s Office said Close used an illegal high-capacity magazine.
2 min. read
Michael R. Close. (Courtesy, Denver Office of the District Attorney)

The man who allegedly killed 21-year-old Isabella Thallas and injured her boyfriend, Darian Simon, faces 20 counts of crimes including first-degree murder, attempted murder, and firing an illegal high-capacity weapon.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann announced the charges against 36-year-old Michael R. Close on Tuesday. According to a statement released by the DA's office, charges include two counts of murder in the first degree, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of assault, six counts of using "a prohibited large-capacity magazine during the commission of a crime," three counts of possessing an illegal high-capacity magazine, one count of disorderly conduct, and four counts of committing a "crime of violence," which enhances sentencing if he is convicted.

According to an affidavit, Close killed Thallas and injured Simon last Wednesday in the Ballpark section of Five Points after Simon told his dog to poop. Close asked Simon if he was "going to train the dog or just yell at it," the affidavit states. The victim tried to ignore Close but then saw the gun pointed at him and his girlfriend before hearing shots fired.

Thallas died at the scene. Simon was wounded in his leg and buttocks.

Close fled the murder scene in a black Mercedes Benz with Colorado plates and headed toward the mountains on US-285. Denver police alerted their regional counterparts, and authorities arrested him near Pine Junction at 1:08 p.m. after a traffic stop.

The arresting deputy found an AR-15 assault rifle and a handgun on the car's floor in front of the passenger seat, as well as a gun belt and gun magazines.

"My daughter lived life to its fullest with the kindest heart ever," Thallas's mother wrote on a GoFundMe page for her daughter. "From the CEO to the Weed Puller she always shared a smile and a kind word. She always reminded me in life to work harder daily to BE A GOOD PERSON!"

Simon is the co-founder of Be A Good Person clothing company. He's currently in the hospital and will have to receive multiple surgeries but is in stable condition, his brother wrote on a GoFundMe page.

"Darian is currently mourning the loss of the love of his life and needs our support," he wrote.

The dog being walked by the couple was not hurt.

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