Who was Isabella Thallas? Woman fatally shot 24 times by 'mentally unstable' man during feud over dog poop
Simon and Thallas had been walking the dog around 11.40 am when Close had opened his window and allegedly screamed: 'Are you going to train that f—ing dog or just yell at it'
DENVER, COLORADO: A Denver man has been accused of gunning down a 21-year-old woman over a feud about dog poop. The suspect, Michael Close, 24, had reportedly fired at least 24 shots from a semi-automatic rifle in the attack that left Isabella Thallas dead and wounded her boyfriend, Darian Simon, 27. The details about Close's ambush were disclosed at the suspect's preliminary hearing on Monday, November 16, KDVR reveals.
Close has been accused of shooting both Thallas and Simon though Simon survived despite being shot twice in his legs. The incident had occurred in the Ballpark neighborhood on June 10. Denver judge Lisa Teesch-Maguire had found probable cause to bound Close over for trial on 15 counts which include first-degree murder. The only witness, who had testified at the preliminary hearing, was Denver police homicide detective Joseph Trujillo who said that the shooting had taken place after Close and Simon had got into a heated argument following Simon's dog pooping in a rock garden outside Close's apartment complex.
Simon and Thallas had been walking the dog at around 11.40 am when Close had opened his window and allegedly screamed "Are you going to train that f—ing dog or just yell at it?" He then proceeded to shoot at the couple and fired at least 24 rounds at them. Prosecutors had played neighborhood surveillance video in court which showed Close opening his blinds and pointing a high-powered rifle at the couple while Simon bent down to pick up the dog's poop. Just moments later, Close fired at the pair killing Thallas almost instantly.
The police arrived at the gruesome scene a while later and were met by a woman named Chelsea Thompson who had identified herself as Close's girlfriend. Detective Trujillo revealed that Thompson told the authorities that Close had called her crying and had mumbled that he had shot and killed two people. She had told him to turn himself in but he said he was too afraid to do so and told her "he was sorry" many times. Thompson shared with the police that Close had been driving towards the mountains in his black Mercedes SUV and the police were able to find his exact location using his cellphone.
Jefferson County Sheriff's Deputies arrested him at Pine Junction. Detective Trujillo shared that when Close was placed in custody, he was crying and kept saying that he was sorry. Thompson shared that Close had been at her apartment the night before and that the two had got into an argument. The next morning, Close had messaged Thompson saying that he was angry as his dog had been attacked by two other dogs at a closeby apartment complex. Just minutes later, he called Thompson and told her that he had shot two people.
However, the Denver police found no evidence that Close's dog was ever attacked and that his accusations had been made by text 10 minutes before Simon and Thallas left their apartment building as per a time stamped surveillance video. Thompson had told the police that Close "was not mentally stable and had not been the entire time she knew him", Trujillo said in his testimony. She also shared that he had a history of abusing drugs like cocaine, molly, mushrooms, ecstasy and ketamine.
Close is facing charges for two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of attempted first-degree murder, two counts of first-degree assault, nine counts of using a prohibited high-capacity magazine during a crime, two counts of prohibited use of a firearm and one count of disorderly conduct.