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'If you needed help, he was there:' Family seeks answers in unsolved murder of security guard

Lucardio Kroener intervened after a shooting in Lower Downtown and was himself shot to death. Now his family and police are hoping someone with information will come forward and help identify a suspect.

KUSA — A month later, Lucardio Kroener’s family is grappling with the unknown and wondering how someone could gun down the security guard with the infectious smile and simply vanish into the darkness.

“I want to know how they sleep at night, knowing that while they're out there living their life, waking up, eating breakfast, taking a shower – just the simple things in life – we had to plan a funeral,” Kroener’s sister, Liz Gamino, said.

Among the many people who are feeling Kroener’s loss is his three-year-old daughter, Emma.

“His daughter had to learn she was never going to see her dad again.” Gamino said.

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Kroener – whose friends and family called him Luke – hoped to one day be a police officer. For the past several years, he’d been working as a security guard.

He was working in Lower Downtown a little before 2 a.m. on Sept. 28 when trouble erupted at the corner of 15th and Market Streets in Lower Downtown. Two men are suspected of assaulting another man, shooting and seriously injuring him.

A short time later, according to Denver police, Kroener confronted one of the suspects in the area of 14th and Market Streets. A fight ensued, and Kroener was shot and killed.

Credit: Family photo

Police described the suspected shooter as an African-American man between 25 and 35 years old who had a stocky build and braided hair. He was wearing a dark colored hoodie.

“If you needed help, he was there,” said his brother, Jeremiah Davison. “I mean, he was the heart and soul of our family and no matter what, he tried to do what he thought was right.”

Now his family desperately hopes that someone who knows something will come forward and give detectives the information they need to make an arrest.

“I know there's a lot of bad people in this world,” Davison said. “But I think there's a lot more good people in this world. And I need one of those good people that was there and who knows to come forward and help us bring this person to justice, so that way he doesn't ruin any other lives.”

Credit: Family photo

The past few weeks have been bewildering for the family. They erected a memorial to him at Chac Gallery, located at 222 Santa Fe Drive. And they’ve been sharing memories of him.

“I think if you met him once you’d want to meet him again,” his mother, Stephanie Davison said. “He shined up a room with his smile, his eyes.”

Despite their heartache, as they tell stories about Kroener there is laughter, too.

“We weren’t ready to go through Luke's things yet,” his sister said. “To see somebody whose life stopped like that and to go into his house was extremely, extremely hard for everybody. So all we did was just put stuff in boxes for now until my mom's ready and you know we're able to move forward with that.”

Credit: Family photo

There was plenty of joking about what they might find that might have embarrassed Kroener. As they went through his things, they found nothing.

“I said man this guy had nothing on him. There is nothing bad – he didn't do anything bad. And my brother came out and he said, I found it – I found the thing. And I said what? And the ‘do-not-remove-under-penalty-of-law’ tags on the mattress – he had cut off. But he saved it, in a box.

“So that's a big joke to family now, because that was his dirty laundry. It was the mattress tag that we found.”

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