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Lumumba Sayers Jr., MMA fighter, identified as victim killed in Denver shooting

Police are searching for a 24-year-old man in connection with the shooting.
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Posted at 4:22 PM, Aug 22, 2023

Editor's note: This story has been updated with suspect information released by law enforcement Thursday.

DENVER — The Denver Police Department is searching for the suspect in a shooting early Saturday morning near the corner of 28th Street and Welton in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood that left two people dead.

The suspect was identified as 24-year-old Tyrell Braxton. Police released a surveillance photo of Braxton Thursday, saying he was wanted for first-degree murder.

One of the victims has been identified as 23-year-old Lumumba Sayers Jr., a local MMA fighter who worked with his father to help stop youth violence.

“He's the founder of the Gloves Up Guns Down: Get Your Heads Up in the Hood movement. He was stopping a lot of the violence here in the community. Putting on boxing matches and stuff and showing these kids that there's a different way. He ran my moving company for me, that was my best friend,” Lumumba Sayers Sr. said.

Sayers reflected on his son’s MMA career.

“He was better than me. He was going to make it farther than I was. I had the recipe. He had the skills,” Sayers Sr. said.

Lumumba Sayers Jr. was also a father of a two-month-old son.

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Lumumba Sayers, Sr. talks about his son who was killed in a shooting in Denver over the weekend. Lumumba Sayers Jr., was a local MMA fighter who worked with his father to help stop youth violence.

“My son loved being a father. Like I don't care what time it was, middle of the night he’d get up if he heard his baby crying and he was at my house. He’d go find wherever his baby was,” Sayers Sr. said.

Sayers Sr. said his son’s death is a slap in the face following everything he did to try to stop gun violence in the Denver metro.

“This coward shot my son, he shot my son, man. The community that we protect, you know, we try to provide for, the community that he tried to help guide in a different direction that he grew up in, they killed my son,” Sayers Sr. said. “My son wasn't no gang banger. He wasn't no drug dealer. He wasn't no troublemaker. My son was following after my footsteps.”

Sayers Sr. said his son did a lot to help his Heavy Hands Heavy Hearts Foundation.

“My son came in and put in his work. This is where we changed lives up here, where we teach different things like integrity, self-love, on the job training. My son, he used to bring all the young people in and give them jobs,” Sayers Sr. said. “We brought all his friends in to keep them out of the way, to help teach them a skill. The ones that didn't have no fathers around, he brought them to me so I could be that other father figure for them. And yeah, my son was amazing. Raised a great young kid and my son had a great life... I just want my baby back… I just want my baby back."

Anyone with any information on this case is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. A reward of $2,000 is being offered for information that may help solve the case.

To donate to the Heavy Hands Hearts Foundation, click here.

Lumumba Sayers Jr., MMA fighter, identified as victim killed in Denver shooting


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