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‘Promising’ Rookie Sheriff’s Deputy Dead In Alleged Murder-Suicide In Denver

“We can confirm with heavy hearts that Denver Deputy Latasha Betterly-Byrd passed away earlier today,” Denver County Sheriff Elias Diggins said in a statement sent to Oxygen.com.

By Dorian Geiger
Police Lights 3 G

A Denver sheriff’s deputy was fatally shot multiple times in a suspected murder-suicide earlier this week, according to law enforcement.  

On Monday, Adams County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to an address in the 1300 block of West 67th Avenue where the bodies of Latasha Betterly-Byrd and an unidentified male had been found. 

“Upon arrival, deputies located an adult male deceased from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and an adult female deceased from multiple gunshot wounds,” the Adams County Sheriff’s Office, according to a press release sent to Oxygen.com.

Betterly-Byrd was later identified by investigators as a deputy sheriff for the Denver County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators, who were still probing the scene of the crime Monday afternoon, now suspect the unidentified shooter first opened fire on Betterly-Byrd before turning the gun on himself.

Law enforcement had been asked to carry out welfare checks on the man the night before the shootings, according to Denver news station KDVR. Deputies came to the man’s home at least once, but were unable to establish contact with anyone inside.

Neighbors also disclosed that Betterly-Byrd had lived at the property where deputies were dispatched for approximately one year. Two boys were reportedly present in the residence at the time of the alleged incident. Witnesses observed the children waiting outside for law enforcement to arrive after calling for help.

Detectives are currently conducting interviews with possible witnesses and neighbors, as well as analyzing electronic and physical evidence that was collected from the scene of the deadly shootings. Officials noted the investigation is in its early stages.

The man's identity will be released by officials pending notification of his next of kin, according to Denver television station KUSA. A coroner's autopsy is pending.

The Denver County Sheriff’s Department have also since confirmed Betterly-Byrd’s killing.

“We can confirm with heavy hearts that Denver Deputy Latasha Betterly-Byrd passed away earlier today,” Sheriff Elias Diggins told Oxygen.com in a statement on Wednesday afternoon. 

Diggins said that Betterly-Byrd was a rookie deputy who had only graduated from training months earlier.

“Deputy Betterly-Byrd graduated from our Academy in November 2021 and was an outstanding and promising new deputy, assigned to the Downtown Detention Center,” Diggins added. “This is a very difficult time for her immediate family and Department family as well. We ask that you keep everyone who cares for her in your thoughts and prayers.”

The Denver County Sheriff's Department hasn't any released additional information on the ongoing investigation.

Betterly-Byrd, who was also married with children, previously served in the U.S. Marine Corps, according to Denver news station KDVR. The slain deputy previously worked as a pretrial specialist in Oakland County, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Betterly-Byrd's funeral procession is scheduled for Feb. 3 in Brighton, Colorado.

A spokesperson for the Adams County Sheriff’s Office also declined to comment further on the open investigation into the suspected murder-suicide when contacted by Oxygen.com this week.

"No further comment, the situation is very unfortunate," public information officer Sgt. Adam Sherman said in an email.

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