The man suspected of fatally shooting a police detective in Denver is an illegal alien, police said yesterday.
Police sketch of Raul Garcia-Gomez.
Cops say Raul Garcia-Gomez, 19, is an illegal alien who used false documentation to get a job at the Cherry Cricket restaurant, which is co-owned by Mayor John Hickenlooper, the Rocky Mountain News reported. The alien is now the subject of a massive manhunt.
Garcia-Gomez failed to show up for work Monday. The killing of Detective Donald Young and the wounding of Detective John Bishop occurred early Sunday morning. The men were providing private security for a party.
According to the local report, Lee Driscoll, the mayor’s business partner, said yesterday that the company learned last month Garcia-Gomez provided the restaurant with two forms of identification, but the Social Security number he provided turned out to be false.
Detective Donald Young and family.
“I learned this morning (Tuesday) that he worked for the restaurant when I got a call from the general manager … who said the police were questioning people,” Driscoll told the paper. “He worked as a dishwasher. He worked for us about 10 months. He looked like a stellar employee from what I can determine from his file.”
The restaurant is owned in part by Hickenlooper, but the mayor reportedly is not involved in day-to-day operations at the Cherry Cricket.
“Certainly, in the restaurant business everyone is like family,” Hickenlooper is quoted as saying. “It’s stunning to believe someone a part of the family could commit such a heinous crime.”
Cherry Cricket managers told police that Garcia-Gomez presented a resident-alien card when he applied for the job, according to a police source close to the investigation.
“You could see that this card was fake,” the police source told the Rocky Mountain News. The card was falling apart and typewritten, the sources said.
U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., yesterday blasted the Hickenlooper administration’s handling of the case, saying federal immigration officials should have been contacted after each of three traffic citations issued to Garcia-Gomez in Denver because police could not confirm his legal status.
“Denver’s sanctuary policy prevents local law enforcement from cooperating with federal officials on immigration matters, despite federal law which explicitly prohibits such a policy,” Tancredo said in a news release.
The congressman also questioned whether or not the Cherry Cricket had done enough to verify Garcia-Gomez’s legal status when he was hired.
Sandra Rivas, Garcia-Gomez’s girlfriend says he made a bedside confession to her just hours after the shooting, Denver’s CBS TV affiliate reported. Rivas says she hoped to marry the suspect, who is the father of her 3-week-old daughter.
Garcia-Gomez is described as a Hispanic male, 5-foot-6, 150 pounds, with short shaved dark brown hair, brown eyes, thin mustache and a tattoo on his left hand. He was last seen driving a white 1995 four-door Dodge Neon with temporary Colorado tags.
According to authorities, Garcia-Gomez has connections in Las Vegas and Los Angeles, or may be heading to Mexico.