Father, mother and daughter killed in Denver shooting, police say; suspect in custody

One person in custody
Posted at 10:37 PM, May 24, 2019

DENVER — A father, mother and their daughter were shot to death late Thursday night at a home in southwest Denver, and the suspect knew the victims well, according to police.

Bustaman Kartabrata, 59, was arrested overnight at a home in northeast Denver, police Chief of Investigations Joseph Montoya said at a news conference Friday afternoon. He faces three counts of first-degree murder and felony menacing in the shooting.

Investigators were still working to determine a possible motive in the shooting and whether Kartabrata was related to the victims. Montoya said Kartabrata was "very well acquainted" with the family.

"It was some sort of conflict that occurred that evening that led to this," Montoya said.

The shooting happened Thursday night at a home in Denver. Police arrived and found two adults – a man and a woman – and a juvenile girl with gunshot wounds. The woman was pronounced dead at the home, and the man and girl were pronounced dead at a hospital, Montoya said.

Officials hadn't released the names of the victims as of Friday afternoon. Another juvenile was in the home during the shooting but escaped unharmed, Montoya said.

A sale had recently closed on the home, and "there was indication there was people moving in and out of this home," Montoya said.

"In all my time, this is one of the most emotional cases I've ever dealt with," Montoya said. "Everybody who was involved in this ... they were shaken by this incident. It was something that didn't need to happen. It was just so senseless."

Neighbors said that the family was planning to move out of Colorado as the father, a school bus driver, dealt with health issues. Denver Public Schools Superintendent Susana Cordova released a statement Friday afternoon about "the loss of three members of the Traylor Academy and Denver Public Schools family." Traylor Academy, an elementary school, is blocks away from the home where the shooting happened.

"Our entire school district is saddened by this news," Cordova said. "We send our condolences to the family and friends of those who passed away."