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Court testimony shows suspect in Thallas shooting texted, called Denver officer day of shooting

Michael Close.jpg
Posted at 7:22 PM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-11 01:39:05-04

DENVER -- Newly obtained court testimony shows the alleged killer in Isabella Thallas’ murder last year texted and left a voicemail on the day of the shooting for a Denver police sergeant from whom he is accused of stealing a rifle used in the shooting.

In January, the Denver Police Department confirmed the AK-47 used in the shooting was the personal weapon of Denver police officer Dan Politica. Michael Close, the suspect and friend of the officer, took the firearm from the officer's home without his knowledge or permission, police said.

According to a transcript of a November 2020 Denver District Court hearing, lead detective Joseph Trujillo testified that minutes before the shooting, Close sent a text to Politica. Trujillo told the court that the text said that Close’s dog, Bella, was attacked by two dogs, and that he had “full intentions of going back and murdering them.”

Trujillo later said that 10 minutes after the text, Close followed up with a call and voicemail to Politica where he said “something along the lines of ‘dude, Dan, I really f---ed up bad. I did something really bad. There’s no – there’s no going back from this now.’”

According to the transcript, Politica did not contact police until 4:20 p.m. when he called the lead detective – nearly five hours after the shooting occurred.

The court testimony also showed Politica was planning to take the suspect to therapy on the day of the shooting after learning Close had experienced childhood trauma.

The shooting happened outside an apartment complex in the Ballpark neighborhood of Denver on June 10, 2020. According to a probable cause statement, Thallas and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, were walking their dog outside an apartment complex at 3001 N. Fox St. when Close allegedly yelled at Simon from an apartment window asking if the Simon was going to train his dog or yell at it. Close allegedly started shooting soon after.

Denver7 reached out to the Denver Police Department, but the department declined a request for an interview citing the pending criminal trial.

A spokesperson for DPD said an internal affairs investigation wasn’t opened against Politica because he had not violated any department policies.

Close pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in March.

Politica filed a resignation letter Feb. 13 and left DPD one month later for reasons unrelated to this case.

Thursday marked one year since Thallas was killed. A candlelight vigil was held in her honor Thursday evening, and Thallas's mother, Ana Hernandez Thallas, spoke with Anne Trujillo in an exclusive interview.