Denver, CO

Migrants occupy hotel where fatal police shooting occurred

David Heitz
The Quality Inn on Zuni, where a shooting occurred early Wednesday.Photo byGoogle Street View

By David Heitz / NewsBreak Denver

(Denver, Colo.) The hotel where a fatal police shooting occurred early Wednesday houses migrants, according to several Google reviews.

The Quality Inn on Zuni previously sheltered people experiencing homelessness during the COVID epidemic. But it closed last August.

“Choice should not be selling spare rooms at this hotel while housing so many asylum seekers,” wrote one guest four days ago.

“It appeared the hotel/motel is housing long term residents, Section 8 or newly arrived illegal immigrants,” commented another.

The city has kept the location of the migrant hotels secret.

Denver under state of emergency over migrants

Denver has declared a local emergency over the migrant influx. According to the city’s online migrant dashboard, which tracks migrant arrivals in real-time, there are 99 migrants staying in city facilities and 745 migrants staying in non-city shelters, such as hotels.

So far, the city has served 11,161 migrants, according to the dashboard. Many migrants just pass through Denver. The city buys bus tickets for migrants so they can reach their final destinations, which often include Chicago, according to city officials.

Officials with Denver’s Department of Housing Stability say the migrant and traditional homeless communities have intermingled in the shelters. The migrants only are allowed a 30-day stay in the shelters, so some enter the traditional homeless shelters when that time is up.

Denver spends $7.7 million on hotels for migrants

Denver will spend $7.7 million on hotels for migrants through June 30. The stream of migrants began to trickle in last December.

In a news conference, Police Chief Ron Thomas said investigators are reviewing surveillance tapes from the hotel. He said a suspect walked inside the hotel briefly and upon walking out, fired shots at an officer into the passenger side of his vehicle. Thomas said the bulletproof vest saved the officer’s life; the suspect died of gunshots returned by the police officer.

Thomas said there was no verbal exchange or confrontation between the suspect and the officer.

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I've been in the news business 35 years, spending much of my career in editing roles at community newspapers in Southern California and the Quad-Cities of Illinois and Iowa. Upon moving to Denver in 2018, I began experiencing severe mental illness due to several traumatic experiences. I became homeless on the street for about a year before spending time in the state mental hospital. I am proof that people can rebound from even severe mental illness with proper treatment. I consider myself a lucky guy to live in a great place like Denver. I hope my writing reflects the passion I have for living in the Mile High City. You can email me news releases and story ideas at

Denver, CO

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