Shocking details emerge after woman, 21, 'shot dead in dog poo dispute'

Tom Flanagan
·News Reporter
·2-min read

A man charged over the shooting murder of a woman allegedly fired at least 24 rounds at her and her boyfriend after their dog defecated outside the accused gunman’s home.

Surveillance footage was shown at accused Michael Close’s preliminary hearing on Monday (local time).

Police say it shows him aiming a semi-automatic rifle through his blinds and opening fire on 21-year-old Isabella Thallas and her boyfriend, 27-year old Darian Simon, as they bent down to pick up their dog’s poo, US news station KDVR reported.

Ms Thallas was instantly killed while Mr Simon survived after being shot in the legs during the June 10 incident in the US city of Denver.

Michael Close allegedly fired at least 24 shots at the couple. Source: Denver Police Department
Michael Close allegedly fired at least 24 shots at the couple. Source: Denver Police Department

Close is alleged to have shouted out of his window from his apartment in Ballpark before the shooting after becoming angered when the dog defecated in a rock garden, Denver police homicide Detective Joseph Trujillo told the hearing.

“Are you going to train that f***ing dog or just yell at it?” he is alleged to have shouted in a heated exchange.

Following the shooting, police met with a woman named Chelsea Thompson who said she was Close’s girlfriend, Det Trujillo said.

She said an emotional Close, aged 36 at the time of the incident, had called her after allegedly shooting the couple, and was crying and mumbling he had shot and killed two people.

Ms Thompson told him to turn himself in, but he fled in his Mercedes SUV, Det Trujillo said.

Pictured are Isabella Thallas on the left and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, with a dog on the right.
Isabella Thallas was killed while her boyfriend, Darian Simon, survived after being shot in the legs. Source: GoFundMe

Close was later arrested after police tracked his phone. Det Trujillo said Close repeatedly said “I’m sorry” after being placed in custody.

Ms Thompson told police Close was mentally unstable, and had been diagnosed with a personality disorder and depression.

He had lost his job during the pandemic and was said to be upset by not being allowed to go to the gym during coronavirus restrictions.

A friend told police he was planning on taking Close to a therapist the day of the shooting after the accused gunman had told him he was sexually abused by his parents growing up.

Open bottles of alcohol and cocaine residue was found inside his apartment.

Close is facing a raft of charges including two counts of first-degree murder and two counts of attempted first-degree murder.

He remains in custody without bond and is due in court on January 4.

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