On June 10, 2020, Michael Close fired 24 shots from his apartment window at Isabella Thallas and her boyfriend, leaving him wounded and her dead.
Michael Close became enraged when he saw a dog defecating outside his Denver, Colorado, apartment in June 2020. He retrieved an AK-47 and opened fire after exchanging words with the dog’s owners, killing Isabella Thallas, 21, and injuring her boyfriend. He’s now been convicted of first-degree murder and attempted murder.
“We’ve been waiting for this day for two and a half years, and what happened in there just flew by… almost as fast as my daughter was slaughtered,” Thallas’ mother, Ana, told the Denver Post. “And our lives were forever altered.”
Close confronted Thallas and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, on June 10, 2020, as they encouraged their dog to relieve itself outside his Denver apartment, according to NBC News. Prosecutors claimed Thallas and Simon were unaware they were near Close’s house because they were standing nearby and telling their dog to “go potty.”
But Close was bothered by their proximity. According to the Independent, he yelled at the couple from his window, “Are you going to yell at that dog or train it?” When Simon told him to “mind his own business,” Close went into his apartment and grabbed an AK-47 he’d stolen from a Denver police sergeant friend.
He then opened fire on the young couple 24 times.
Close was apprehended by police that night after fleeing from his apartment. Close and his legal team have maintained that he was not in his right mind when he shot at Thallas and Simon.
According to NBC News, Close’s public defender, Sonja Prins, argued that her client had a mental breakdown. He had an abusive and traumatic childhood, she claimed, as well as a number of recent personal setbacks such as job losses, the COVID-19 pandemic, and a breakup.
Although Close claimed he was innocent due to insanity, a jury determined that he was conscious of his actions when he shot Thallas and Simon. His claim of criminal insanity was denied, and he was found guilty of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted murder, and two counts of assault, according to the Denver Post. He faces a mandatory life sentence in prison when he is sentenced on November 4.
However, it is a bittersweet victory for Isabella Thallas’ family.
According to the Denver Post, her father, Joshua, said, “There is no justice in this.” “Everywhere I look, there are so many losses. Due to Close’s poor decisions today, our family, Bella’s friends, the community, and even his family all suffered.
Two days prior to her murder, Thallas turned 21. She was enjoying her increasingly serious relationship with Simon while attending Metro State University of Denver to study finance.
According to Ana Thallas of CBS News, “She really did want to be a mom and she wanted to have a family.” She and Darian were creating a wonderful future for themselves.
“I’m just waiting for this dream to end, for me to wake up, and for Isabella to be in her bedroom and her bed,” Ana Thallas continued. All I know is that my daughter and a portion of me died that day.