The woman stabbed to death on Christmas morning has been identified

A crime scene after an officer-involved shooting near Bates and Bryant, southwest Denver, on Aug. 31, 2016. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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The Denver Office of the Medical Examiner said she was Kayla Burke, 21.

Denver police spokesman Doug Schepman said the case appears to be a domestic violence murder.

Denver police said Burke was stabbed around 2 a.m. Sunday on the 1400 block of Pearl Street in Capitol Hill. A man attacked Burke and a friend before turning the knife on himself, police said.

Burke died at the scene, and two other people — one of whom was later arrested on suspicion of first degree murder and attempted murder — were taken to the hospital with serious injuries.

Denver police have not released the names of the other people involved. The suspect is listed as a 23-year-old man in the probable cause statement.

The suspect’s injuries are not considered life-threatening. The second victim, a 20-year-old man, remains in critical condition.

In the probable cause statement, one of the officers who responded to the stabbing said he recognized the suspect and Burke. The officer had been called for a civil standby earlier that evening while Burke removed some belongings from the suspect’s apartment.

After getting her stuff, Burke reportedly told the officer she was fine and had called someone for a ride.

According to the probable cause statement, Denver police officers responded to a call of a fight in the 1400 block of North Pearl Street around 2 a.m. The caller said one man was down with apparent stab wounds to his head and abdomen and another man was running around with a knife.

When officers arrived, witnesses pointed out the man with the knife to them. Officer Gregory Black said he gave the man multiple verbal commands to drop his knife. When he didn’t comply, Black used his Taser.  The man fell to the ground, and that point Black said he saw that the man had blood coming from his neck. Black applied pressure to the wound, but the man said “just let me die,” according to the statement.

Black recognized the man as the person to whose apartment he and another officer had gone with Burke earlier that night. He then saw Burke lying on the ground, clearly injured and unresponsive.

One witness told police he had gone outside after hearing a woman scream. The suspect walked past him holding the knife and said, “I just killed some people,” according to the probable cause statement.

Another witness described coming upon the injured man and trying to help him, only to have the suspect approach again and stab the man again.

Both witnesses described the suspect taking the knife to his own throat.

Erica Meltzer

Author: Erica Meltzer

Erica Meltzer covers government and politics. She's worked for newspapers in Colorado, Arizona and Illinois and once won a First Amendment Award by showing up in the wrong place at the wrong time. She served in the Peace Corps in Paraguay and can swear fluently in Guarani. She gets emotional about public libraries. Contact Erica Meltzer at 303-502-2802, emeltzer@denverite.com or @meltzere.