DENVER — The father and boyfriend of 21-year-old Isabella Thallas, who was killed in a shooting while walking her dog in June 2020, have filed a lawsuit against the suspect and a former Denver police sergeant whose gun was used in the shooting.
The shooting happened outside an apartment complex in the Ballpark neighborhood in June 2020. According to a probable cause statement, Isabella Thallas and her boyfriend, Darian Simon, 27, were walking their dog outside an apartment complex at 3001 N. Fox Street when a man identified as Michael Close allegedly yelled at Simon from an apartment window “asking if the victim was going to train the dog or just yell at it.” Close allegedly started shooting after.
Isabella Thallas died in the shooting, and Simon was shot twice but survived, though he had to undergo surgery to repair a broken femur.
In January, the Denver Police Department confirmed the AR-15 used in the shooting belonged to a Denver police officer, but was not issued by the Denver Police Department. Close, a friend of the officer, took the firearm from the officer's home without his knowledge or permission, police said.
The court documents filed on behalf of Simon and Isabella Thallas’ father, Joshua Thallas, name Close, former Denver police Sgt. Daniel Politica and his business, Tyrant Arms LLC. Simon and Joshua Thallas are seeking more than $100,000 for the injuries, damages and losses Simon and Joshua Thallas suffered, the documents say.
The complaint document states Close intended to harm both Isabella Thallas and Simon. According to the document, Politica was concerned about “Close’s mental health and was going to take him to a mental health facility” on the day of the shooting. The complaint also states the ammunition and weapon taken from Politica were not stored in a weapons locker.
In total, the complaint states eight claims for relief. Wrongful death, assault and battery against Darian Simon, intentional infliction of emotional distress, joint and several liability and conspiracy common venture claims were filed against Close. Wrongful death, negligence and negligence per se, joint and several liability, conspiracy common venture and negligent entrustment claims were filed against Politica and/or his company.
Craig Silverman and Joshua Maximon, the attorney’s for Simon and Joshua Thallas, respectively, provided the following statement on behalf of their clients:
“Today is the 22nd birthday of Isabella Joy Thallas. Bella and her beloved boyfriend Darian Simon should be celebrating. But Bella was murdered, and Darian Simon nearly murdered almost one year ago. The murder weapon was an AK-47 reportedly owned by DPD Sgt. Dan Politica.
Politica was the owner/operator of Tyrant Arms, LLC. The murderer was Politica’s friend and confidante who somehow obtained the illegal (in Denver) assault weapon and prohibited (in Colorado) large capacity magazines filled with ammunition.
Our lawsuit seeks answers and accountability. Honor Bella. Honor Darian. We intend to prove what really happened on June 10, 2020 in Denver, Colorado.”
Close has been charged with one count of first-degree murder after deliberation; one count of first-degree murder – extreme indifference; one count of attempted first-degree murder after deliberation; one count of attempted first-degree murder – extreme indifference; one count of first-degree assault with a deadly weapon; one count of first degree assault – extreme indifference; six felony counts of possession of a large-capacity magazine during a crime; three misdemeanor counts of possession of a prohibited large-capacity magazine; two misdemeanor counts of prohibited use of a weapon; one count of disorderly conduct for possessing a firearm; and four possible sentence enhancers related to the commission of a violent crime and use of a weapon.
Close pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in March.
Politica filed a resignation letter Feb. 13 and resigned from DPD one month later.
In April, Gov. Jared Polis signed into law Senate Bill 21-078, which was renamed the Isabella Joy Thallas Act. The bill, which Isabella Thallas’ mother, Ana Hernandez Thallas, lobbied for, requires gun owners to report stolen firearms to law enforcement.