Colorado Man in Stable Condition After Being Shot While Walking Dog With Girlfriend

Lorenz Duchamps
By Lorenz Duchamps
June 15, 2020USshare
Colorado Man in Stable Condition After Being Shot While Walking Dog With Girlfriend
Isabella Thallas, 21, after her high school graduation in a file photo. (GoFundMe)

A Colorado man who was shot last week while walking his dog with his girlfriend remains hospitalized as of Monday, according to multiple reports.

Clothing designer Darian Simon, 26, was with his girlfriend Isabella Thallas, 21, when a neighbor fired more than 20 rounds at the couple. Thallas was killed in the Denver area neighborhood shooting, police said. She has just celebrated her 21st birthday two days prior on June 8.

Simon survived the incident and was hospitalized with two gunshot wounds, one to his back and one in the leg. He is currently in a stable condition in the ICU and has had three blood transfusions and multiple surgeries, including one to fix a broken femur, KITV reported.

“Darian is currently mourning the loss of the love of his life,” the organizer of his GoFundMe page, Drick Bernstine, said. “They weren’t just in a relationship, they were in love,” he told KITV. “I’ve never seen him care for a person like that. I’ve seen him have high school sweethearts, but this was different.”

The couple was allegedly assaulted and shot by 36-year-old Michael Close, who was arrested shortly after the shooting in a nearby small town. He has been charged with first-degree murder as well as aggravated assault. He is being held without bond until his next court appearance, ABC7 reported.

Simon told responding officers Close opened an argument that day after Simon ordered his dog to poop. The suspect yelled at the couple from inside his apartment, asking if they were going to train the dog or just yell at the dog, according to the probable cause affidavit.

The couple at first ignored his yelling, but then Simon saw the man point a gun at them, unleashing a rain of gunfire, according to the affidavit.

“In summary, the suspect got into a verbal altercation with the victims related to the victims telling the dog to poop,” according to the affidavit. “The suspect then shot the victims from inside his apartment.”

Close does not have any previous arrest warrants in Colorado, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation said in their background check. Officials found a pistol grip rifle and a handgun inside his car following his arrest, as well as a gun belt and firearm magazines.

A GoFundMe page was set up by friends and family to support the Thallas’s funeral and living expenses following the tragic incident. The page has nearly generated over $68,000 as of Monday.

NTD Photo
Isabella Thallas, 21, in a file photo. (GoFundMe)

“Isabella Thallas and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, were taking their dog for a lunch time walk in downtown Denver. When a resident, Michael Close, shot at both Isabella and Darian,” the page reads.

“Isabella’s mom, Ana, has been on furlough and hasn’t been able to work,” the post continues. “A mother should never have to bury her child and especially for such a violent reason.”

Simon just started a clothing brand, and currently is the co-owner and co-founder of the brand: “Be a Good Person.”


More than 1oo people attended a candlelight vigil to remember Thallas on June 11.

“Our family would like to extend an invitation to all the lives that Isabella touched at a candlelight vigil,” the family wrote in the invitation, along with a picture of Thallas.

“She was young, vibrant, kind, loving, beautiful—on the outside and the inside,” Thallas’s mother told ABC7. “She had the world in front of her.”

Simon also attended the vigil via FaceTime, while recovering from his wounds in the hospital. He told his mother he wanted to live for Thallas.

Thallas was a high school graduate. She was studying finance and dreamed of someday becoming a mother, the outlet reported. Her family said they are heartbroken.

“We asked that you kindly respect our privacy and Isabella’s life by keeping this positive and loving,” they wrote on Facebook.

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