Adams County Coroner identifies alleged intruder shot and killed by an Aurora homeowner

Suspect had lengthy criminal history
Posted at 6:40 PM, Aug 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-08-02 10:55:16-04

AURORA, Colo. — Authorities have released the identity of the suspect in a deadly home invasion in Aurora early Monday morning that left two dead, including the homeowner.

Dajon Harper, 26, was shot and killed by a 74-year-old Vietnam War veteran defending his home against the intruder who police say broke into the residence at 10609 East Montview Boulevard around 1:30 a.m.

The owner of the home, Richard “Gary” Black, Jr., was shot and killed by responding officers from the Aurora Police Department.

According to Black’s stepson, Chad Hayashi, a naked Harper had entered the home and for an unknown reason and began to violently attack his son. He told ABC News he was awoken in the middle of the night to find Harper choking the child and biting his ear in the bathtub.

Hayashi said Harper was shot and killed by Black amid a struggle after freeing the boy from the suspect's grip.

“He lived a hero; he died a hero. I’d be dead, my son would be dead. My mom, my daughter – we’d all be dead if it wasn’t for him,” Hayashi said.

After the shooting, Black, a former federal agent and Purple Heart recipient, walked out of the bathroom and into another room where he was shot by an Aurora officer, according to Hayashi.

The officer involved in the Montview shooting has yet to be named, but police officials confirm the same officer was also involved in a previous shooting in June at an Aurora motel on East Colfax.

Harper had been charged with attempted murder and two counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender in 2011, according to Ken Lane with the Denver District Attorney's Office. He pleaded guilty to one of the POWPO charges in April 2012 and was sentenced to two years probation, which he violated in some sort, Lane said. 

Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz said he intends to hold a press conference Thursday to discuss the incident further.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story stated that Harper had been charged with first-degree murder in 2011. This is incorrect. We have changed the story to read that he was charged with attempted murder in 2011 and included information from the Denver District Attorney's Office.