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Congo refugee shot and killed on his way to work in Denver

Elroy Lee, 24, was arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.

DENVER — A man was shot and killed at an apartment complex in Denver late Monday night, and a 24-year-old man has been arrested in the case.

According to an arrest affidavit, at around 11:40 p.m. Monday, Denver Police (DPD) dispatchers received several 911 calls about a man firing a gun at an apartment complex located at 1601 Colorado Blvd. 

Two DPD officers arrived and found a man sitting in a Nissan Versa car in the alley of the apartments, according to the affidavit. Officers shined a flashlight at the man in the Nissan and noticed that he did not match the description of the man who was firing the gun, the affidavit states.

The officers walked toward the apartment complex and then heard a gunshot, according to the affidavit. The officers then saw a man, who police identified as Elroy Lee, holding a handgun and trying to get into an apartment, the affidavit says. 

The officers contacted Lee and ordered him to put the gun down and get on the ground, the affidavit says. Lee complied with the officers' commands and was taken into custody, the affidavit says.

The officers recovered the gun which had its serial number scratched off, the affidavit states. 

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Other officers that responded to the apartments then found the man in the Nissan – who was originally contacted by the first two arriving officers – had been shot in the head and had crashed into an officers' patrol car, the affidavit says. The victim was pronounced dead at the scene.

At around 5 a.m. Tuesday, detectives found a spent 9 mm casing near where officers had contacted the man driving the Nissan Versa, the affidavit says. Police also found two bullet defects to the apartment's elevator and to a glass window next to the elevator, according to the affidavit.

Credit: KUSA
Elroy Lee

Elroy Lee is being held on suspicion of first-degree murder.

The victim's family has identified him as 52 year-old Emmanuel Amani. He and his wife, Sylvie, came to Denver in 2014. 

Speaking through a translator, Sylvie said Emmanuel was on his way to work at King Soopers when he was shot and killed. According to Sylvie, Emmanuel was a man of great faith, a "prayer warrior," in her words, as well as a devoted husband and a loving father to their two children.  

"He was a wonderful man," Sylvie said. "I've lost someone who's very important to me."

Credit: Courtesy
Emmanuel Amani

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