Homeless Man Stabs Shelter Employee to Death After Being Refused Entry

A homeless man fatally stabbed an employee of the Denver Rescue Mission after he was denied entry to the facility on Saturday, police have said.

The Denver Police Department (DPD) responded to reports of a stabbing in the 4600 block of E. 48th Avenue on Saturday night. The employee was taken to hospital for treatment, where was pronounced dead just before 11 a.m. on Sunday.

On Sunday afternoon, officers had arrested Christopher Christian, 22, who faces a first-degree murder charge.

According to an arrest affidavit obtained by FOX 31, Christian had stayed at the Denver Rescue Mission on Friday night, but was ordered to leave the premises for 30 days after getting into a fight with another individual.

Moments before the fatal attack, Christian approached the employee, who was getting into a vehicle with another individual. The pair then had "words," according to the affidavit.

Witnesses told police that the shelter employee was not involved in either the fight or the decision to prohibit Christian from returning for a period of 30 days.

According to The Denver Gazette, investigators said the stabbing victim was seen on surveillance footage walking away from Christian, who then dropped a backpack and was "ready to fight." An altercation then began after the shelter employee grabbed Christian's backpack, an affidavit states.

The 22-year-old then ran at his victim, stabbing him in the chest, according to the affidavit.

A witness told police Christian then grabbed the backpack and fled.

"The Denver Department of Housing Stability (HOST) is deeply saddened and stand ready to support our provider partners at Denver Rescue Mission," the Denver Department of Housing Stability said in a statement on Sunday.

"Our hearts go out to the family, friends and colleagues — in this shelter and others — who are grappling with the aftermath of this senseless violence and the loss of a loved one," the department added.

The victim's identity is yet to be released.

Newsweek has contacted the Denver Police Department for additional comment.

Anyone with information about the incident is urged to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

In a separate incident last month, police said a ride-hailing driver was stabbed multiple times after a group of five juvenile males attempted to get inside his vehicle, and he told them there wasn't enough room.

He was taken to hospital with non-life-threatening injuries, the DPD said at the time.

Denver Rescue Mission shelter
A woman walks past the Denver Rescue Mission shelter on August 27, 2008 in Denver, Colorado. An employee of the shelter was stabbed to death by a former resident over the weekend. John Moore/Getty Images