Jeremiah Barnum, convicted hate criminal, dead in officer-involved Walgreens shooting

jeremiah barnum mug shot.jpg
Big photo below.
Yesterday, a member of the Englewood Police Department shot and killed a man outside a Walgreens store. And the dead man was notorious long before he breathed his last.

Jeremiah Barnum was at the center of what former Westword writer Jared Jacang Maher once described as "Denver's most famous hate-crime case."

According to the EPD, an officer spotted a stolen car near South Washington Street and East Bates Avenue at about 4:33 p.m. yesterday afternoon. This information was shared with plain-clothes detectives, who put the vehicle under surveillance.

The detectives watched as several subjects climbed into the car and drove to a Walgreens at 3080 South Broadway. There, the individuals in question were rounded up by patrol officers and taken to the police station.

Story over? Not quite. A pair of Englewood officers remained on the scene, and as one was finishing up impound-related paperwork, he eyeballed what's described as "a known associate of the earlier arrestees" sitting in a car parked in the Walgreens lot. The cops then approached the vehicle, at which point the driver -- Barnum -- reached for a weapon in his waistband while backing the car out so quickly that he nearly hit one of them.

oumar dia.jpg
Oumar Dia.
That officer responded by opening fire, the department reveals -- and Barnum was struck in the process. After his car came to a halt, the cops removed him and rendered first aid, as did members of the Englewood Fire Department who responded shortly thereafter. But Barnum was later pronounced dead at Swedish Medical Center.

What was Barnum's previous claim to infamy? His name came up in our 2009 feature article about the hit-and-run death of Lilian Verdonkschot. Nadine Montoya was accused of having not only caused Verdonkschot's death but also committing a hate crime. That led to the following passage:

Critics say that hate-crime legislation is redundant, since laws already exist to prosecute the actual crime regardless of motive.... In Denver's most famous hate-crime case, the 1997 slaying of African immigrant Oumar Dia at a downtown bus stop, self-proclaimed white supremacist Nathan Thill called Dia a "nigger" and asked if he was ready to die. But even without a hate-crime charge, Thill would have been sentenced to life in prison. The law did effect Thill's buddy, Jeremiah Barnum. Though he didn't pull the trigger, Barnum was convicted of ethnic intimidation and first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 1999 before a judge, citing tainted testimony, ordered a new trial. (Denver appealed that decision for several years, but in 2002 agreed to a plea deal that sent Barnum away for twelve years.)

As noted by the Denver Post, we don't yet know how long Barnum has been a free man. But his latest step into the spotlight won't lead to any sequels. Here's a larger look at his booking photo.

jeremiah barnum mug shot large.jpg
Jeremiah Barnum.

Follow and like the Michael Roberts/Westword Facebook page.

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "Nadine Montoya sentenced to life in prison plus extra 32 years for Burger King hit-and-run."

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142 comments
hokuspokus6669
hokuspokus6669

Fuck all of you that was my uncle he did bad things yeah but did he deserve o die hell no no more than an of you low life sub human peices of shit do you assholes didnt know him so eat the dirt he was a good man

dontbemad
dontbemad

Good Riddens to bad rubish-he is burning in hell right now!! His momma should have aborted this scum-save the world some misery

Laura
Laura

Exactly...you make points and ATTEMPT to back them up and how can you 'check the info' when you state what someone supposedly 'believes'?  "He believed he had the freedom to just drive away"  MAYBE.  How do you know he was playing 'big poppa"? 

I am not squirming and I have not stated anything in this post or any others that I do not know for a fact.  You, on the other hand are simply repeating things that you have read or watched on the news.  I ask you...do you believe everything that you read/hear/see in the media?  As far as my "dopey little notions"...did you know him?  (And knowing him when you were boys 30 years ago doesn't really count now does it?)  Did the media know him? 

I honestly cannot believe that you say that knowing someone the most...knowing his deepest thoughts and feelings carries no water.  I don't particularly care what you believe WillBohnny...it is just very frustrating when someone such as yourself acts like they knew the facts...the information...the things that made someone tick...when you don't...you just don't. 

I don't think it is of great character and strength to stand by and witness, participate, and abandon the dead and wounded.  I have never said that and I never will.  But you don't know the whole story as you tend to think you do.  You proved that in the very sentence you wrote...he didn't drive the killer away in this situation...there was no driving involved.  Can you back that info up?

As far as his prison sentence...who are you to say what was 'sufficient time'?  And when you do pay your dues and serve your time...who is to say that wasn't enough?

I realize that I am have been and will continue to be wrong in my life.  But the one thing I was never wrong about was knowing what kind of man Jeremiah Barnum was.  Judge all you want...as I have stated before, I don't care what you think. 

Chtech84
Chtech84

You call yourself a journalist? Anyone with common sense can smell bull shit written all over that story. People are ignorant and blinded by Barnums past that they can't even see he was murdered. OPEN YOUR EYES and do some research. Then rewrite this story and include an appology for the first one you wrote.

Leah
Leah

Thor, he loved you, and he would be proud that you're standing up for him.

Fat_black_catz
Fat_black_catz

This person has committed horrible crimes against others. He might have been an uncle to someone-but then his victims probably were uncles too. Serves himself right if he wasn't going to do as he was told and be arrested etc.. Some people tend to think they are above the law and they are not. You live by the sword you die by the sword.

geenie
geenie

RIP Jeremiah. I just found out about this through one of his brothers in sterling. Reading some fo these comments is making me sick. I hope his family can grieve in peace.

Jacob Porter
Jacob Porter

seems like only white people can be charged with hate crimes...how much more of this are they willing to take?

Ricky Hollywood
Ricky Hollywood

ITT:  Uneducated Nazi thugs with little no "fancy book learnin"

bluechip
bluechip

I have read many of the comments and I have just one question:  If Jeremiah was such a reformed man, why was he reaching for a gun from his waistband as the cops approached him?That action is the only reason that he is dead.

Lodom42
Lodom42

I have known Jeremiah Barnum for 16 years.  We met when we worked at a restaurant together.  I have been friends with him before the crime involving Mr. Dia, during his time in prison, and after his release.  I corresponded with him during his entire stay in prison and have at least 500 letters to show for that.  He was not a Nazi when the crime happened...he and I went to have drinks with two of our co-workers for one of their birthdays...they were both black.  As another poster mentioned, at the time of his crime, Jeremiah had a black roomate...these are not the actions of a skinhead.  He worked with Nathan Thill and they decided to hang out together the evening the crime happened.  What would you do if the person you are with shoots two people in front of your eyes?  Turn your back and run?  Risk getting shot yourself because you were a witness?  I don't think so.  The reason Jeremiah till considered Thill a friend was because Thill told the police that Jeremiah had nothing to do with the crime and tried to take full responsibility (as he was the gunman).  This is the same reason Jeremiah wanted to be there for Thor.  He knew he needed someone in his life in that capacity.  It is unfortunate that once someone is labeled as something that that is all that people see.  Jeremiah was one of the most intelligent, funny, talented, and caring individuals I have had the pleasure of knowing.  I wish others could have known the man I knew instead of the man the media portrays.  Not everyone is perfect and many of us make mistakes...huge and sometimes horrible mistakes, but when a man serves his time and pays his debt to society, why should he still be persecuted...let alone murdered.  And that is exactly what this was.  I can only hope that the truth comes out, but we all know how likely that will be.  Rest in peace my friend.  I will always think of you and smile. 

Ab
Ab

U all dumb fuck of already boo whoo a dead racist from the 211 gang!

Cantake8
Cantake8

Oh Gawd, I sucked him off once. He was a great kisser. I knew he wasn't gay, but had no clue he was this scary.

teresa55
teresa55

Hooligan was a true friend to my son and our whole family loved him. I hate to see the ugly things being said about him by people who don't have a clue. He payed his dues and that was not enough for the Denver police department. He was harrassed by the cops to the point of causing him to loose his job. They were always coming to his work place, never finding whatever it is they were looking for. Now they have killed him for sitting in his car at the scene of an arrest and now they are on paid leave? I don't hate cops but I sure don't agree with how this all played out. This should not have happened.

ATL
ATL

When I first met Jeremiah was back in 93 in Atlanta.Right after he changed his nazi ways.Anyone that is calling this great guy, a nazi does not know jack squat about him.Btw he was walking away from Thill before he shot that man.He knew what was going to happen.Sadly he should have got the hell out of dodge before that happen.Jeremiah was one of the best friends anyone can ever have.He was such a good friend.I cant believe this has happen.I want to see the video tape of the cop's car dashboard, to see what really happen.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

here's a rewrite for you.

He was a accessory, the wheelman in fact, to the most notorious hate crime on Denver history.

By fluke of law he received a grossly reduced sentence of 12 years.

He got out. He violated parole, pissed meth, went back to jail, got out, had a nickname of Hooligan in his 30's. He was at the least very close to some skinhead gang he'd once been a leader in.

He was out playing "big poppa" to a couple schmucks in a stolen car who'd been busted.He believed he had the freedom to just drive away, maybe.

He was wrong. The police shot and killed him. He was a man long, and possibly forever on their radar.

He was a man. He made his decisions. Men are the sum total of the decisions they make.

He never apologized sufficiently, or served sufficient time.

Was his death the answer?

Majority decision rule: That question is irrelevant. It simply is.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

You have a complex path to negotiate, this being left to you, Thor.

Think of the concept of "acquired advantage."

The negative impact that all of these crimes and misdeeds will be a heavy burden for you, lest you're able to turn that around. I do wish you the best.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

Then, some are actually above the law. However, Thill and Barnum were no where close to wielding actual power like diplomats, or moguls of other kinds. They were psychopaths who needed more punishment than they got. They were murderous twenty-somethings and cannot ever fully pay for their crimes. Get onboard the move on train.

Fat_black_catz
Fat_black_catz

reading about his crimes makes me feel sick....did they not make you feel sick?

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

Seems like you might be an ignorant white racist ...

Lodom42
Lodom42

You left a word out of your sentence and can't even puncuate properly.  Perhaps you should take a look at your own education before talking about others.

Ab
Ab

Regardless if it was a stick or a gun when an officer is talking to you or approaching you you do not try to run point blank period and you do not make sudden moves because that is just asking to be shot. So everyone needs to quit crying that the officer did wrong because he did not.

Meltandbend
Meltandbend

Did you miss the part about it not being a gun but was in fact a stick?

hokuspokus6669
hokuspokus6669

@Lodom42 hey im his good friends son give me a call

Amandarussell531
Amandarussell531

Thanks for standing up for Thor, my son needed a man! Jeremiah was a good guy.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

Absolutely he should have turned his back, run from that psychopath, Thill and distanced himself entirely saying that he was a friendly co-worker and had no idea he was a murdering lunatic.

He should have dropped "Thor's" hammer on Thor's head. Jeremiah looked like he was pretty yoked. He should have destroyed Thill like a dog and protected the young woman who Thill then paralyzed.

He was weak to stand by Thill. A stronger man would have laid ruin to Nathan Thill and he would be seen as heroic, not evil. But he didn't. He retained a friendship with a man who took another's life in front of him. He then lacked the strength to condemn him. Jeremiah should absolutely have destroyed Thill immediately without regret, and without a second thought.

Thill should have been executed.

Thill should have been executed by Jeremiah. Right then, right there.

He did nothing. He continued to befriend him. He is not innocent. He is guilty of the worst decisions all the way to his end. Being in that lot to check up on those two peices of shit.

He knew what he was doing every step of the way. To say different is to call him a moron. I doubt that he was a moron. No, he was, once again, out to aid criminals.

Thor! what a joke. A dirty dog with the name of a god. If your afterlife exists, I hope Jeremiah is waiting there for Thill to destroy him as he should have.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

You should cease to speak, cantake. Your words are like a disease.

Donkey Hotay
Donkey Hotay

It sure does sound like an execution by the EPD ...

... however undesirable the victim may have been to society at large, death is not a penalty for car theft.

Fat_black_catz
Fat_black_catz

 Well he didnt get out of Dodge did he. he chose his path.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

It has been very disturbing. Most of all to you who knew him most recently in life.

I seek not to agitate mourning, but to interrogate the truth. many truths are never revealed.

Be strong. Goodbye.

Lodom42
Lodom42

Again...you don't know what you are talking about.  Where did you get all of this information?  The media?  I thought so.  If you believe everything you see/hear/read in the media you are more ignorant than you present yourself.

hokuspokus6669
hokuspokus6669

@WillBohnny im barnums bros son and i new him he was a good man

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

Nice catch Lodom. That was pretty funny.

Lodom42
Lodom42

You are absolutely right...when an officer is approaching you or talking to you, you should not run.  But if we live in a country where an officer is justified in firing at someone 6 times simply because he was trying to run or made a sudden move, then it is a very scary place to live.  If that is the case, then officers would never be held accountable for anything.  They could just say that "the person made a sudden move so I gunned him down."  Think about what you are saying.  The shooting was not justified...there was no excuse.

Lodom42
Lodom42

Thor is Thill's son, Thorsten...that is what Jeremiah called him when he spoke of him to me.  I think you might be confused on that part of my post.

  None of us can predict or accurately say what we would do when faced with a situation in such a quick procession of events with someone killing another human being.  We do not prepare ourselves for such an situation.  I am not saying that Jeremiah did no wrong.  He did and he would readily admit to that.  But, when someone has a gun and Nathan Thill had to be a lunatic (that is one thing that we agree on) to do what he did...I don't think I would turn my back on him for a minute.  Regardless of all of this, Jeremiah didn't deserve to be gunned down as he was...he didn't deserve to be murdered.  It is not for you or anyone else to judge why he was where he was or who he was there to check up on.  It seems to me that the only people saying nasty things and speaking without knowing the entire story are the people that did not know him. 

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

You have made a good point, Donkey. I have had run ins with cops. I am not a defender of the fraternal order of police.

the concept of police is worth a great amount of interrogation. As it stands, I would say they are dangerously over empowered in general.

the police too often lack strategy and rely on fire power. That is dangerous.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

No, I suppose he barely got anywhere, ever. He was getting older, never wiser.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

I make points, back them up, check the info and present.

You, well, you seem to be squirming around dopey little notions like, "you didn't know him... the media doesn't know...etc."

Let's see, Lodom, should I, or we, believe YOU have the information that is most reliable? If so, you have failed to present it. Instead, you only make the claim of how well you knew him. Yes, I concede, you knew him better than anyone, maybe. That carries no water, Lodom.

You seem to think that it was of great character and strength to stand by and witness, participate, abandon the dead and wounded, and drive the killer away.

Despite the incident at Walgreen's...

It goes without saying, that you were wrong. Move slowly, as you may be wrong about many other things as well.

Fat_black_catz
Fat_black_catz

must have been a reason.... people are murdered for a reason-we might not like the reason... I mean people can be murdered for standing at a bus stop, being a policeman or being of a different race/colour etc... 

Lodom42
Lodom42

I heard that today Thor...I hope you are well and doing okay.  Jeremiah spoke of you fondly and often.

thorsten
thorsten

Their was another girl in the car with him my mom talked to her she said he didn't do anything they just shot him.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

yes, I was clearly mistaken in my assessment of Thor being a street name, like Hooligan. My mistake.

Thor, if youre reading this, I apologize. Jeremiah should have destroyed your father. That is true.

I did know him. As a young boy. We were close as children. very. Selfish as it may seem,It pisses me off that that part of my life is now a stained memory.

UnThink
UnThink

Oh yeah, I'm sure that's EXACTLY why you left Denver.  You probably lost a job or had to relocate for some reason, and you are bitter about it.  As such, you need to reinforce your poor decision by being a whiny little bitch.

Fat_black_catz
Fat_black_catz

 think, do you not thinkthe family will be biased? lol

thorsten
thorsten

... he didn't have a gun they just wanted him dead.

WillBohnny
WillBohnny

glib at best. not thought through, "Think."

Denver breeds violence
Denver breeds violence

I just left Denver because of the LACK of ethics in the Entire community! I believe the family and friends over any Media publication.

Think
Think

If someone pulls out a gun and threatens you , is the epd supposed to yell"please dont shoot sir" or react to SAVE themselves and everyone in the near area? Im just asking myself which choice would I have? Dyan and Eric from colombine were the worst of colorados hate for eachother

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