DENVER -- The pain is still fresh for Monique Taylor. She says her son Gabriel was an outgoing go-getter, and a good father to her 3-year-old grandson. But on Dec. 23, Gabriel was shot and killed in Montbello.
“I just don’t know how to move on,” Taylor said.
The Denver Police Department says Gabriel Taylor was shot near Silverman Park before he was taken to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital, where he later died. The Denver Medical Examiner says he died from a gunshot wound.
When Monique heard her son was being taken to the hospital, she rushed over to see him, but was met with something unexpected.
“I waited hours, going back and forth with the staff. And ultimately, they said, 'no,' that I couldn’t see my child,” Monique said.
The Problem Solvers reached out to UCHealth. A spokesperson released the following statement:
“As a rule, we always work to connect family members with loved ones as early as possible. However, in some instances law enforcement will not allow this if the patient was a victim of homicide. In these cases, access to the patient, any access, is usually not permitted and is always dictated by law enforcement, and/or the coroner.”
Denver Medical examiner Steven Castro sent the following statement to FOX31 on this case:
"Mr. Taylor's case was investigated as a homicide and we would have asked that the hospital preserve the body as evidence. In order to preserve the evidence we ask that our Medicolegal Investigators are the only ones to make physical contact after pronouncement in order to preserve that evidence.
We rarely need the next-of-kin to make an identification as most people have fingerprints available. That is how Mr. Taylor was forensically identified.
The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner does take families wishes into consideration and ask that the family choose a funeral home for viewing purposes. We typically can have an autopsy done by the next morning and ready for release to a funeral home, which was the case with Mr. Taylor."
A spokesperson with Denver police says law enforcement can put victims on a criminal hold only if there is a criminal nexus to the victim.
“The doctors came out and said, 'we did all that we can do,'” Monique said. “It makes me feel terrible. I couldn’t even positively identify if that was even my son.”
Police say there is currently no suspect information at this time. Anyone with information on this case is urged to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers: 720-913-7867.AlertMe