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Gunman, 36, ‘who killed woman, 21, used Denver cop’s AK-47’

REVEALED: Gunman, 36, ‘who killed woman, 21, and wounded her boyfriend “because they wouldn’t clean up their dog’s poop” used stolen AK-47 that belonged to his Denver police officer friend’

  • Michael Close, 36, charged with 22 criminal counts, including first-degree murder, for June 10 killing of 21-year-old Isabella Thallas 
  • Thallas and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, 27, were walking the man’s dog when they got into an argument with Close
  • Close was purportedly angry that Simon’s dog defecated outside his apartment building in Denver 
  • Police said Close opened fire from AK-47-style rifle on the couple, killing Thallas and wounding Simon 
  • Denver police said the rifle belongs to Sgt Dan Politca, who was Close’s friend
  • Police said Close took the AK-47, which was not department-issued from Politca’s home without his knowledge or permission

A Denver man who has been charged with shooting and killing a 21-year-old woman and injuring her boyfriend during a dispute over their dog used an AK-47-style rifle that belonged to a friend who is a police officer.

Michael Close, 36, has been charged with 22 criminal counts, including first-degree murder, stemming from the June 10, 2020, shooting that took the life of Isabella Thallas and wounded 27-year-old Darian Simon.

Police said Close opened fire on the young couple after Simon’s dog defecated in a rock garden outside the suspect’s apartment complex.

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Sgt Dan Politca

Murder suspect Michael Close, 36 (left), used an AK-47-style rifle belonging to his friend, Denver police Sgt Dan Politca (right), to shoot and killed a woman in June, police confirmed 

Close faces 22 criminal counts, including murder, for the shooting death of 21-year-old Iseballa Thallas (right) and the wounding of her boyfriend, Darian Simon (left)

Close faces 22 criminal counts, including murder, for the shooting death of 21-year-old Iseballa Thallas (right) and the wounding of her boyfriend, Darian Simon (left)

Police said Close and Simon got into an argument after the victim's pet dog (pictured) defecated outside the suspect's apartment building in Denver

Police said Close and Simon got into an argument after the victim’s pet dog (pictured) defecated outside the suspect’s apartment building in Denver 

On Monday, Thallas’ mother, Ana Thallas, wrote on social media that her daughter was ‘murdered with an AK-47 that that belonged to a Denver Police Sergeant,’ as 9News first reported.

The Denver Police Department has since confirmed that the rifle used in the killing was, indeed, the property of police Sgt Dan Politca.

A department spokesperson stated that Close, who was friends with Politca, took the AK-47-style rifle from the cop’s home without his knowledge or permission.

The rifle was not issued to Politca by the Denver Police Department.

During a preliminary hearing in November, a detective told the court about a voice mail that Close left for Politca minutes after the shooting, telling him: ‘dude, I f**ked up really f**king bad, there’s no going back from this now.’

Politca told authorities that he planned to take Close to see a therapist on the day of the shooting after he told him that he had been sexually abused as a child by his biological parents. 

When Politca learned that his weapon had been missing and was used in Thallas’ killing, he came forward and identified the AK-47 seized by the police as his property.

Close fled the scene and was later detained by Jefferson County Sheriff deputies

Close fled the scene and was later detained by Jefferson County Sheriff deputies

Thallus had turned 21 just two days before her death

Thallas was killed almost instantly when Close opened fire on the couple, shooting 24 rounds

Thallus, who had turned 21 just two days before her death, was killed almost instantly when Close opened fire on the couple, shooting 24 rounds

The Denver Police Department said an internal review found that Politca did not violate any agency policies when his gun was stolen.

Close had lost his job in the pandemic and had been unable to go to the gym, which was said to have been extremely important to him.

A friend told police that Close told him via text that he ‘just snapped.’ Close apparently told this friend that he had spent some time in a mental institution at the age of 12. 

A search warrant executed inside Close’s apartment found several open containers of alcohol, cocaine residue and six shell casings, a detective testified. Another 18 shells were found outside the apartment window. 

Police recovered Politca’s rifle, a Glock 17 and a shotgun from the home, in addition to loads of ammunition and high capacity magazines that can hold more than 15 bullets – illegal in the state of Colorado. 

Close is due back in court for his arraignment on March 8. 

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