Family says victim killed in downtown shooting tried to break up fight

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DENVER — A deadly overnight shooting killed one man and left another person hospitalized.

It happened just before 2 a.m. near 15th and Market streets in lower downtown, the Denver Police Department said.

Police have not identified the man who died, but family members said it was 33-year-old Clarence Thomas, a father of two who was supposed to be celebrating his son’s third birthday Saturday.

“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” said Arthur Thomas, who was still trying to comprehend losing his son.

“I don’t understand young kids anymore. It used to be just fists. I mean what do you need a gun for? Especially if you’re just gonna’ shoot somebody cowardly in the back. Just sneak up on somebody and shoot them, that’s just cowardly.”

His son, Clarence, was with friends in downtown Denver on Friday night when one friend got into a fight with another group.

“Clarence was, he was trying to break it up,” Thomas said.

As Clarence tried to play peacemaker, Thomas said, “Another guy came up and shot him in the shoulder or somewhere up in here and I hear they shot him in the back of the head or in the front, I’m not sure yet.”

Police said they are still trying to piece together all of the circumstance and details that led to the fight and the shooting. Thomas said Clarence was a good son and a good father to his children.

“He’s got responsibility, he’s got two sons and he wanted to take care of his sons,” he said.

And to the man who took that away, he said, “Right now I have so much hate in me. I could just look at him and wish him death myself,” he said, still just trying to comprehend his loss.

“It just seems, it seems unreal right now.”

The man with Clarence who was shot in the shoulder remained in the hospital Saturday night.

Police said a suspect has not been arrested, and investigators asked for witnesses to come forward and video evidence to be turned over.

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