David Young charged in the murder of Gerald Hammons outside an after-hours club

An ambulance screams down Speer on a snowy evening wiht its sirens on. Nov. 17, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)snow; cowx; weather; denver; winter; snow; kevinjbeaty; colorado; denverite;

A man has been charged in the Sept. 11 murder of Gerald “Sleepy” Hammons in Denver. A Crime Stoppers tip and video footage appear to have led police to the suspect.

As we reported at the time: “At approximately 4:48 a.m. Sunday, Gerald Hammons was shot and killed outside of his vehicle parked near Welton and 29th streets. Hammons had been at Wardenclyffe, an after hours club at 2852 Welton St., just prior to the shooting.”

The city’s ShotSpotter sensor system recorded three gunshots in the area at that time. Emergency services arrived on the scene about seven minutes later and took Young to Denver Health, where he soon afterward was pronounced dead. He had been shot twice in the abdomen and lower back, an affidavit states.

An investigator arriving on the scene found Hammons’ grey Chevy Equinox on the scene, its driver-side door open. Detective Randal Denison saw “blood, a semiautomatic pistol magazine, and a cellular telephone” on the street near the vehicle, according to the affidavit.

The detective learned that Hammons had come from a party at a house nearby, 2852 Welton St., where the detective found a front door with a code lock and “numerous red and clear plastic cups on the ground,” the affidavit states.

Denison met with two men who said they were witnesses and cousins of Hammons. They said that the victim was well-known in the club. One “believed Sleepy sells cocaine and had a pistol with him,” according to the affidavit.

The three men (Hammons and his cousins), went out to Hammons’ car several times throughout the night to drink and do cocaine. On their last trip outside, the cousins saw a large man talking with Hammons, the affidavit states.

They went back inside, shortly afterward heard three gunshots and then came back out to see Hammons on the ground and the large man looking at the scene of the shooting from a nearby alley.

Investigators were able to recover video footage from a “HALO” camera that was pointed at the club, but the real break may have come from a Crime Stoppers tip almost two months later. The tipster called on Nov. 7 and indicated he or she had information about the murder.

The caller’s statements to police have been heavily redacted from the detective’s affidavit, but he or she reportedly identified David Young as the one who “took a pistol out of his clothing and fired two or three shots at Sleepy.” The video footage showed Young leaving the club at 4:47 a.m., just before the shooting, the affidavit states.

David L. Young is 28 years old. He faces a charge of first-degree murder after deliberation. “After deliberation” means “intentionally [and] after the exercise of reflection and judgment concerning the act,” according to state law.

Young was arrested on November 11, 2016, according to the office of Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.  He is being held without bond at the Denver Detention Center.  His next court date has not yet been set.

Andrew Kenney

Author: Andrew Kenney

Andrew Kenney writes about public spaces, Denver phenomena and whatever else. He previously worked for six years as a reporter at The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. His most prized possession is his collection of bizarre voicemail. Leave him one at 303-502-2803, or email akenney@denverite.com.