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$20,000 reward offered in 2020 cold case that killed local musician

Josh Nermon a friend of Zackary Smith told 9NEWS he was with his bandmate the night before he died and they're baffled at who would want to hurt him.

DENVER — Metro Denver Crime Stoppers has increased the reward to $20,000 for any information that leads to an arrest for a 2020 homicide cold case. 

Denver Police (DPD) said Zackary Smith was shot and killed just before 4 a.m. on Sept. 10, 2020, in the area of the 1700 blocks of North Quebec Street and North Quince Street.

Josh Nermon a friend of Zack's told 9NEWS he was with Zack the night before he died. They were writing music for the band they started. He said he woke up the next morning to a dozen missed calls with news he never thought he'd hear. 

"So I was the last person to spend time with Zack," Nermon explained. "When he left my house, I wanted to make sure he got home safe. So I was adamant I was like, 'Hey man, let me know when you get home. I want to make sure you're good,' about 15 minutes after he left my house I get a text saying, 'Hey man, made it home. Love you. Great song we wrote can't wait to do it again."

Credit: Josh Nermon
Zack Smith (left) and Josh Nermon (right).

Nermon woke to the news that Zack was shot and killed. Police believe the shooting happened just before 4 a.m.

"I was in denial I was like, 'No I was just with him, he was home, like what do you mean he was shot by someone?'" Nermon said. "He was a beautiful joyous, carefree, dedicated hard worker. Dedicated to his craft, dedicated to his friendships." 

Nermon and Zack started Autonomix a dancetronica band known in the Denver music scene. The group has since disbanded. Nermon said he's never had such a strong bond with another musician. 

Credit: Josh Nermon

"It’s something that doesn’t happen very often when you get two musicians or more that are so much on the same page and compliment each other in a very supportive and unique way that brings the most out of one another without it being competitive," Nermon said.

"We had a lot more fun than a lot of other bands I’ll tell you that much and it was contagious like people saw us smile, we took risks together, we just had fun and we tried to share it with others."

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous.  

Credit: Josh Nermon
Zack Smith (left) and Josh Nermon (right).

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers  

Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. 

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers is notified at the conclusion of the investigation. 

From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted. 

> More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here. 

> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here. 

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