DENVER — April Potter knows she will never understand why someone shot and killed her brother – and four others – a year ago Tuesday.
The shooting spree stretched across two cities and lasted 45 minutes. It ended when a Lakewood police officer, Ashley Ferris, killed the suspect in a shootout that also left her hospitalized.
Potter's brother, Danny Scofield, was a tattoo artist at Lucky 13 Tattoo in Lakewood. She described him as a gifted artist from a young age for whom tattooing was both an art and a vocation.
Scofield died inside the tattoo parlor where he worked. The shooter spent less than 15 seconds inside the building before driving to his text target. He also killed Alicia Cardenas, Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, Michael Swinyard and Sarah Steck as part of the attack which he outlined in a self-published misogynistic and dystopian fantasy book.
Potter chooses to remember her brother's life, rather than how he died.
"He was just a light to everybody," she said. "Light and love were, I think, the two biggest things that I feel like most people saw from him."
Scofield's mother Ligia said she misses her only son's smile the most.
"It's never easy, it's like an everyday battle for me," she said of his loss. "I just want him back, I just want him here. And that's impossible."
The year since his death has been "miserable" she said. Potter agreed.
"I don't think I could ever describe how much I love my brother," Potter said. "As much as I miss him every single day, I know that I never have to fully let go."
Potter said she'll forever remember Danny whenever she looks at her tattoos – most of which he penned – and she knows many friends and strangers feel the same.
"There are so many people that have a piece of him forever because of the skill and art that he shared with people on a daily basis," she said.
The tattoos he created will keep his memory alive – and she hopes to live her life the way her big brother would've wanted.
"If I could just be half the person he was," she said. "I know he’s super proud of me, but I would just be more proud to be just like him in any way I can."
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