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Family members call on Denver DA for justice after young mom dies in shooting on Colfax

Victim identified as Pam Cabriales
Pam Cabriales
Posted at 7:53 PM, Feb 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-01 11:39:04-05

DENVER — Pamela Cabriales is smiling in every photo family members have shared — that's how they want to remember her.

They say Cabriales enjoyed her work as a real estate agent and loved being a mom to her 6-year-old son.

Along with their memories, they want justice. Cabriales was shot while driving home Saturday night.

"She was having dinner with a friend, left the place and was heading home," said Maria Gubser, Pam's sister.

Police said Cabriales was driving westbound on W. Colfax Avenue near I-25 when someone fired multiple shots at her Range Rover and fled. She was critically injured and died Wednesday night.

"We are all just devastated," said Mayra Zambrano, a longtime friend. "She was such a great person that we can't see our lives without her."

"Pam was an amazing mother, daughter, sister and friend," said Alex Cabriales, the victim's brother. "She was everything. She was a ray of sunshine. She was always worried about other people, always wanted to help others."

Zambrano's voice, choked with emotion as she talked about Pam.

"We've been friends since we were little girls. We used to play barbies. As teenagers, we would get into trouble together. She's like my sister," Zambrano said.

Police said a witness told them the person who fired was in a dark colored Honda, which they linked to a shooting at the McDonalds on W. Alameda the night before. Three shots were fired into the occupied restaurant.

Police spotted the Honda after midnight Sunday and used a "pit maneuver" to stop it on South Tejon Street near West Byers Place. Three teenagers, an adult and two juveniles, took off on foot, but police were able to capture them.

The adult, 18-year-old Neshan Johnson, and one of the juveniles are being held for investigation of attempted murder. Police found 16 live rounds of .22 caliber ammunition in the shed where Johnson was hiding and one .223 caliber shell casing. They also found two AR-15 rifles in the Honda's back seat.

They said no determination has been made regarding possible charges against the third individual taken into custody. Police believe Johnson was the driver and one of the juveniles fired one of the AR-15s.

"The emotions are just indescribable that my mother's going through," Alex said.

"For the second time," Gubser added.

"She had a child taken from her with gunshot wounds to the head," Alex said.

Their brother, Noel Cabriales, then-14 years old, was shot and killed over an incident involving a dog in 1994. Alex said the shooter spent very little time behind bars.

"If the minors were old enough to pull the trigger, they are old enough to do the time," he said.

The Cabriales family is grieving for Pam and for a nephew who no longer has a mom.

They have a direct message for Denver's district attorney:

"We want justice to be served," Alex said. "The first time around when our brother (Noel) was murdered in '94, he (the gunman])got manslaughter — walked after two or three years in prison, got out and killed someone else. So Beth McCann, it's in your hands to make this right."

Alex said it wouldn't be justice to let one of the juveniles walk.

"Deals should not be made," Alex said, "and if the third suspect (is) a minor and is being let out on an easy deal, that is not just."

A family friend has set up GoFundMe account to help provide security for Pam's son. Julieta Quinonez said the funds will be used as an investment in college for the 6-year-old.