DENVER — It’s been more 16 years since 21-year-old Bruce Harrell was murdered. Police say he was driving a friend home near Five Points when he was shot and later died at the hospital. This week, Harrell would’ve been 38 years old, and still, no one has been arrested for his death.
“Bruce had a character within himself. He loved people, he loved life, and he loved his family,” said Bruce’s mother, Dianne Harrell.
Not a day goes by where Dianne doesn’t think about her son.
“It’s not easy. It’s hard every day,” she said.
The George Washington High School graduate, who loved to play the drums, was murdered on his mom’s birthday: January 11, 2006.
“Whoever did this to him, you took him away on my birthday. And they’ve never been the same and probably won’t ever be the same,” said Dianne.
Bruce and his friend were stopped at a traffic light at Downing and Welton streets near Five Points when two vehicles pulled up next to them. Someone got out of one of the vehicles and started shooting.
Denver police say Bruce attempted to drive to safety but collided with multiple vehicles before coming to a stop.
Both Bruce and the friend were taken to the hospital, but Bruce didn’t make it.
Bruce’s mom says her son was doing his friend a favor that night.
“From my understanding, this person got into an altercation with someone and needed a way home,” said Dianne. “My son turned around and went to pick him up, and he was put into a bad, dark, horrifying situation.”
All Dianne wants after all these years is closure.
“As long as I have breath in my body, I’m not going to sit down and just let nothing happen. I am his mother, and if I don’t stand up and fight for him, who will?” she said.
One of the Denver detectives handling this cold case told Denver7 that investigators are still actively pursuing leads and encourage anyone with any information to give Metro Denver Crime Stoppers a call.
Bruce's mother hopes to share a message to the person or persons who took her son’s life.
“You tore my life apart. You tore everything apart that exists with me and my son,” said Dianne. “I’m still ripped, I’m still ripped.”
Dianne is holding a birthday balloon release celebration for her son Sunday at Denver’s Silverman Park at 4 p.m. to celebrate his birthday and keep his memory alive. She holds something for Bruce every year during the week of his birthday.
If you have any information on Bruce's murder, you can give Metro Denver Crime Stoppers a call at 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous.