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Procession, funeral held for tow truck driver fatally shot in Denver

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Posted at 8:22 AM, Dec 30, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-30 18:14:55-05

DENVER — A procession for a tow truck driver who was killed early in the morning on Dec. 15 winded its way from a park and ride to a church in Golden Monday morning.

A representative with Western Towing said tow truck drivers organized a procession for Monday's funeral for Paul Dakan, 36, who was fatally shot on Dec. 15.

Tow truck drivers started to gather at the Wooly Mammoth Park and Ride off I-70 and US 40 Monday morning. They left the parking lot at 9 a.m. and drove to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Golden for the funeral, which is open to the public.

“It's very sad," tow operator Jason Gray said. "What happened to him is not part of the job, but it's just one of the risks. It's just terrible that someone would do that in the middle of the night just for a car."

Early in the morning on Dec. 15 — around 3:20 a.m. — officers with the Denver Police Department responded to a shooting at 48th Avenue and Washington Street at a tow yard. The person who called 911 said they saw a heavyset Hispanic man shoot another person in the yard, according to court documents. The caller said the shooter's car had been impounded and the Hispanic man and an elderly female had left the area after the shooting in a red Toyota Corolla.

When police arrived at the tow yard, they found the injured man, who was identified as Dakan. He was transported to the Denver Health, where he died of a gunshot wound a few hours later.

At 3:40 a.m., about 20 minutes after the shooting, police located the Toyota Corolla and took two people into custody, according to court documents. One of them was identified as Victor Arenas-Foote, 26. A deputy with Adams County found a 38 caliber semi-automatic handgun in Arenas-Foote's pocket, according to court documents.

After authorities talked with Arenas-Foote — details of the content of those conversations are redacted from a probable cause statement — he agreed to a voluntary blood draw at Denver Health.

On Dec. 18, Arenas-Foote was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and aggravated robbery. According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, Arenas-Foote allegedly shot Dakan in the back of the head.

On Dec. 18, Arenas-Foote was charged with first-degree murder, felony murder and aggravated robbery. According to the Denver District Attorney's Office, Arenas-Foote allegedly shot Dakan in the back of the head.

“It hits home, because he's just a tow operator just like everybody else. We're out here trying to help people,” tow operator John Strasburg said.