Police: Teenager accused in death of taxi driver in jail for week

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DENVER -- Less than two weeks after Metro Taxi driver Darren Bloomquist was killed on the job, Denver police said Thursday a teenager has been arrested in connection with the death.

“The investigators in this case, through really good police work, were able to identify the suspect in this case. Fortunately, he was already in custody on an unrelated charge,” Denver Police Department spokesman Doug Schepman said.

The death happened in the early-morning hours of Sept. 5 when Bloomquist picked up a fare in Denver’s Green Valley Ranch neighborhood.

Something about the ride made the 49-year-old driver uncomfortable. His wife said her husband had activated a silent alarm in the taxi, alerting dispatchers to his need for help.

“If Darren thought he was in any slight danger, he would have given him the money,” the victim’s wife Melva Bloomquist said.

Metro Taxi asked police for a welfare check on the driver after Bloomquist had stopped responding to his radio. Police found Bloomquist shot to death in his cab.

After his death, his wife pleaded for her husband’s killer to turn himself in.

“Don't do this to anybody else. Nobody else needs to go through something like this,” she said.

And in a show of support for their fallen colleague, drivers from every cab company in town have striped their front driver's side headlight with black tape, waiting for an arrest in the case.

"It's someone who will kill and they need to be off the streets,” said Kyle Brown, general manager of Metro Taxi.

Police are saying the alleged killer is off the streets.

“It puts people as well as investigators, it gives them a sense of relief knowing that the person that's responsible for that crime is off the streets and can't harm someone else,” Schepman said.

The teenager police say is responsible was arrested Sept. 10 in west Denver on unrelated charges. Still in jail, the teen was served Thursday with an arrest warrant for investigation of first-degree murder in the killing of Bloomquist.

Because he is a juvenile his name is not being released. All records in the case are sealed.

Cab drivers will say goodbye to Bloomquist at a memorial service Friday morning at Metro Taxi headquarters.

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The event is open to the public and will go until 2 p.m.

A GoFundMe page has also been set up for the family. Bloomquist moonlighted as a cab driver to help pay for his wife's medical bills.

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