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CSU creating memorial scholarship for alumnus killed in Denver arson

Djibril Diol and four family members were killed in the fire on Aug. 5, 2020.

DENVER — A year after five members of the Diol family were killed in an intentionally set fire at their home in Green Valley Ranch, Colorado State University (CSU) is working to establish a scholarship to honor one of the victims.

Thursday marks one year since the fire that killed 29-year-old Djibril Diol and 23-year-old Adja Diol, as well as their 2-year-old daughter Khadija. Djibril’s sister Hassan Diol, 25, and her infant daughter, Hawa Baye, also died.

>The video above aired in February shortly after arrests were made in the case.

They were all inside a home in the 5300 block of North Truckee Street when it was intentionally set on fire around 2:30 a.m. on Aug. 5, 2020, according to Denver Police (DPD). Several other people managed to escape by jumping to safety.

Credit: Family

Djibril Diol graduated from CSU in 2018 and was named an "outstanding graduate."  Upon completing his degree, he worked as a field engineer for Kiewit on the Central 70 highway project in Denver.

Kiewit is now working with CSU to establish a civil engineering scholarship in Diol’s name, according to the school.

RELATED: Family and friends gather to remember 5 killed in Green Valley Ranch house fire

Kiewit Companies Foundation will donate a $12,500 match to gifts supporting the scholarship. Once the fund reaches $25,000, the scholarship will be endowed permanently, creating a legacy for Diol at CSU forever.

Click here to learn more about the scholarship and how you can contribute.

Credit: DPD

Shortly after the fire, DPD released security photos of people seen in the area around the time of the fire wearing hoodies and full-face masks. Police said they fled the area in a dark-colored four-door sedan.

It wasn't until early this year that DPD announced a major break in the case. On Jan. 27, 2021, three teenagers were taken into custody in connection with the fatal fire. All three of them were arrested in Jefferson County and were juveniles at the time of the crime, according to police.

The following week, the Denver District Attorney charged two of the three teens as adults. 

Gavin Seymour and Kevin Bui were both 16. The third suspect, also a male, was 15 at the time of the fire and has not been named publicly.

RELATED: 2 teens to be charged as adults in Green Valley Ranch arson that killed 5

The three suspects face the following charges: 

  • Five counts of first-degree murder
  • Five counts of first-degree murder with extreme indifference (a sentence enhancer) 
  • Three counts of attempted murder 
  • Two counts of first-degree assault with extreme indifference 
  • One count of first-degree burglary
  • One count of second-degree burglary 
  • Three counts of first-degree arson 
  • Eight counts of fourth-degree arson

Bui and Seymour have preliminary hearings set for November. Attorneys for Seymour have also filed a motion to move court proceedings against him back to juvenile court.  A reverse transfer hearing to determine whether that will happen is set for January of next year. 

Credit: DPD
Kevin Bui (left) and Gavin Seymour (right) are charged in connection with a fire that killed a family of five.

A woman who is related to one of the suspects was also arrested during the course of the investigation but has not been charged in relation to the fire.

Littleton resident Tanya Bui, 23, was arrested while in possession of marijuana and a firearm, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) 

Bui has been charged with the following federal crimes:

  • Possession of marijuana with intent to distribute (less than 50 kilograms)
  • Possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking crime
Credit: Denver Fire Department

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