Man whose friend was killed by police on Lincoln Street remembers his life

DENVER — The friend of a man who was shot and killed by Denver Police two weeks ago after police said he fired his gun and refused to drop his weapon wants to make sure his friend is not forgotten.

Zaccary Lindholm said the friend who was shot, Christopher Barela, was an incredible person.

Lindolm has marked the place he died, the corner of 11th Avenue and Lincoln Street, with a picture frame, a gay pride flag and a butterfly.

Barela was shot July 1 after police said he fired a gun he had been waving, and refused to drop the weapon.

But Lindholm wanted to remember him for other things, like the fact he was called the "butterfly boy" because he loved butterflies.

"I  know my friend like the back of my hand 'cause he was always there." Lindholm said. "He was always there to help me get through my troubles and my issues."

Lindholm also saw cell phone video that shows Barela aiming the gun at an RTD officer before walking down Lincoln Street, where he was later shot by police.

“And so to see the video of him, you know, you see him raising his arms, I just knew he was scared," Lindholm said. "He was scared to go back to jail."

Lindholm said Barela was struggling, and trying to put his life back together.

"He (Barela) was trying to change and for whatever reason, he had a melt down and it's a shame he didn't know where to go or who to call," Lindholm said.

Lindholm said Barela had a partner, worked different jobs and was staying with friends. None of them know where he got the gun or coat he was wearing that day.

Lindholm said he has many questions about a friend he said died way too soon.

Fox 31 has not been able to check Barela’s criminal history due to technical issues with the court records system.  It’s not clear if Barela had a history of mental health issues.

Lindholm said he hopes to connect with Barela’s family to share stories a friend he loved.

AlertMe
Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.