Daniel Abeyta, Denver Gunman Shot by Police, Has Criminal History

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
August 17, 2013 Updated: June 24, 2015

Daniel Abeyta, shot by Denver police after he allegedly killed one woman and wounded another, and after he fired a gunshot at one of several makeshift explosive devices he had made, has a criminal history.

Court and police records obtained by 9News show that Abeyta, 31, had a tense relationship with his wife, who may be either the injured woman or the dead woman. The identities of the women were not immediately released.

Abeyta’s wife had asked for a protection order against Abeyta and told police about dozens of examples of abuse she suffered from Abeyta in 2003.

The abuses included him hitting her in her head with the butt of his gun, him threatening to kill the family, and cutting up her clothes and the bed with a knife.

“Time after time she said there was abuse that left her cut – bruised – scared for her life,” according to 9News. 

Later, she asked for an exception to the protection order so Abeyta could visit their young child.

On the other hand, Abeyta has accused his wife of hitting him with a crowbar and stabbing him.

The situation in Denver on Friday unfolded quickly after police received reports that a man was walking with guns in the Harvey Park neighborhood.

Abeyta was shot in the chest after he fired at a propane tank with gunpowder on top of it, one of several incendiary devices he had made. A woman was later found dead in a nearby home, and a second woman was found wounded in another home, Police Chief Robert White said.

Abeyta is being held for investigation of charges including murder. No motive was evident.

Police said Abeyta was in critical condition, while the surviving woman was in serious condition.

White said the man had two or three propane tanks with gunpowder on top and had placed them in the middle of the street. He said the man fired at one of them and it “activated,” but no one was injured.

Before he was shot, the man was seen walking with his weapons. Police alerted residents to stay inside and a high school was put on lockdown. Abeyta was shot within about a half hour of that warning.

Police didn’t immediately say whether Abeyta lived in the neighborhood, but Melissa Allen told The Denver Post that he has lived in the area at least since she moved in three years ago. She said he lived in a house with his wife and two children, who are in elementary school.

Allen said she and her children saw him walk down the street Friday.

“He seemed like a nice person,” she said. “He was always with his kids outside.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report

[View the story “Shooting in Denver on August 16” on Storify]

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Reporter
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.