Chris Haney, Gothic Theatre staffer, dies in Denny's shooting, Robert Bernal busted (75)

chris haney 2 205x205.jpg
Photos, video below.
As the weather has warmed up, the number of homicides in the metro area has escalated in a disturbing way. We added three new posts to our Mile High Murder archive last week alone, and early Saturday morning, another homicide took place outside a Denny's restaurant.

The victim: Chris Haney, a beloved employee of the Gothic Theatre who had a young daughter. The arrestees: Robert Bernal and a juvenile said to be Bernal's little brother. Details, photos and video below.

dennys crime scene chris haney.jpg
The scene of the crime.
Here's the first tweet from the Denver Police Department about the incident:

The next update was even more distressing:

What happened? According to 7News, Haney, age 36, was shot trying to break up a fight at the Denny's near Santa Fe and Alameda that started inside the restaurant and ended in tragedy outside it.

chris haney large.jpg
Another photo of Haney.
That he died trying to be a peacemaker is perfectly in keeping with the portrait of Haney painted by his many friends and acquaintances on the Denver music scene. Our Dave Herrera has posted a great profile of Haney on Westword's Backbeat blog, and in it, he shares the following anecdote from former Cephalic Carnage bassist Jawsh Mullen: "He was the guy that would help me cool people out and stop fights. He was always the guy, if there was ever any disagreements, he'd always be like, 'Man, it's just not...you don't want to do that.'"

Herrera also shares a post from Haney's Facebook page. The topic is presumably the Boston Marathon bombing, but in the wake of his death, it serves as a

"Bad things are gonna happen. I know this from what I know about the history of our world. Truth is they have always happened and I surmise they will keep happening. Which SUCKS because deep inside everyone knows how all of this is gonna end. Love wins. Love will always win. Remember the everyday heroes who only know to help. Forgive those who do harm. They are adrift and will know love soon enough. Rejoice in the good that happens whenever, wherever and see the worst as only a means to that end. Now go do some good. It comes back, ya know."

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The Gothic Theatre, where Haney worked as a bartender.
Haney leaves behind a wife and a five-year-old daughter.

As for the individuals who took Haney's life, the DPD believes they've got the perpetrators, as noted in this tweet from later on Saturday:

The juvenile's name has not been released, but 7News quotes Bernal's mother as confirming that the younger suspect is Robert's younger brother.

No official charges have been filed thus far. In the meantime, though, we offer our condolences to Haney's friends, family and loved ones.

Look below to see the 7News report, followed by an interactive graphic showing the area around the crime scene. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

More from our Mile High Murder archives: "Woman in wheelchair, 67, murdered behind East Colfax business (74)."


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33 comments
carlray
carlray

I hope those two get locked away for a very long time

Nurdkrusher
Nurdkrusher

A man is dead...Please don't use this to be funny or try to make xenophobic remarks

butchmcsnutch
butchmcsnutch

Let's attract more Robert Bernals to our state with in-state tuition and driver licenses for illegals!

dignitz
dignitz

You will be missed dear friend.  I will miss our talks and I need somebody new to laugh at my bad jokes.  My hands are done shaking and I can write and say godspeed.  Our city and music scene have a giant hole in them now.  

nesabee
nesabee

I hate how they make my brothers seem like that was there intent an I love how they don't tell the full accurate story! ... tell the story right and maybe it will turn alot of things around! .. my condolences to his daughter and family though it's sad for everyone! Not only his family but our family to. This is unexpected and something not in my brothers characteristics .. my brothers aren't monsters they are normal people too... so much to say that I cannot say.. just know it's unfortunate on both sides... prayers to his family... as I pray for my brothers whom I love so much an miss so much..

Paula Abolafia
Paula Abolafia

Man why's everyone shooting their face off in CO now?

mammypants
mammypants

Are there not any pictures available of the suspects?

ElToroSolo
ElToroSolo

RIP Chris. Denver will miss you. You died as you lived, as a peacemaker.

SxPxDxCx
SxPxDxCx

Rest in peace Haney.  You we one of the good ones for sure.  You will be missed very much.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

More American Gun MADNESS !!


Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

Killing bartenders when there are so many cops available .....

amother
amother

@nesabee I grieve for you and your family. I know that you all are hurting.  I am a mother who also grieves for a loving extended -family son.  He left a daughter also.  He will never come back.  Your brothers are not dead. Your family can pray that your brothers change whatever in their lives caused them to carry a loaded gun to a family restaurant, argue bad enough to pull that loaded gun and shoot a peacemaker who was no threat to them at all. I pray that they dedicate their lives to making amends by continuing his work, where ever they find themselves in the future.  Chris would have forgiven them, but it is easy to SAY you're sorry.  Only by living it counts.

nesabee
nesabee

You don't even know the story you weren't there you don't know what really happened I wish I could tell you but I cannot say what really happened .I love how they painted the picture though.. my brothers would never hurt Someone like that they love their lives and they had so many good things going on and like I said it's unfortunate and really how dare me to post here! I can't post whenever I'd like.. as much as your missing him I'M missing them don't come at me like that I did Nothing! I was at work that night.. so for you to be rude to me is just an asshole part on you.. I could be all kinds of rude and disrespectful but I have enough sense and respect and condolences not to.. maybe you should find some... and it can't be karma if it was protecting your self.. so thank you.

dignitz
dignitz

@nesbernal  

All I can say is how dare you post here. Your brothers in their shallowness and stupidity killed my friend.   I have lost a brother too and can only wish yours the most foul of sentences.  I hope the cold finger of karma finds them soon.  

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@ElToroSolo Well put, ElToroSolo. We're going to make your post an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

lovewins
lovewins

you may not be human but people are greiving here, please try to muster up what we humans call respect and leave your shit out of this

p.quinby
p.quinby

@Juan_Leg yeah cause killing cops is really fucking cool bro. get bent you useless sack of shit.

nesabee
nesabee

Thank you a mother I'M not here to make excuses for what happened I came to say I'M sorry my whole family wants to Send apologies we are TRUELY sorry and we are sad for both sides and it sucks when "grown " ppl like dignitz can't act like an adult and tlk stuff to me like I f I was their and like I did this .. it came so shocking to us and unexpected as it did to them.. we are sorry the little girl lost her dad I'M a mother my self and seeing my mom hurt as Well s one of the hardest things ever to watch... I just wanted to say sorry but I guess ppl have to immature about it an make it worse... I would hope he would forgive my brothers and know it wasn't intentional... I wish ppl would know that and not listen to what the media is saying cause honestly their making it look so much worse then what happened and that part disturbs me... but again I'M TRUELY sorry an If could of been there to stop I really wished I could of... Godbless him Godbless his soul Godbless his daughter and family.. Godbless much brothers too... much love and respect...

dignitz
dignitz

@nesabee Did Chris have a gun? Neeeew, it was the moron known as your brother. I am sure he will have alot going for him in the pokey. Hopefully a large man named tiny falls in love with him.

dignitz
dignitz

@nesabee I can be as rude as I want. Part of your genetic swillpond killed an amazing man. Nuff said. Go back to work.

anthony.calvert6183
anthony.calvert6183

@nesabeeIt doesnt matter what the story is.  Your brothers were armed with a gun and resorted violence when this guy was just trying to protect them and everyone around by try to make peace.  Am I judgmental  ummm yes and I dont apologize for it cause your bothers shot someone and it takes a certain type of person to take someone's life and they did so I dont care about the story.  They should have not been armed and they should not have killed someone.  I dont know if the guns were legal but even if they were they still should have not shot someone.  Protecting themselves? They were brothers.  What kind of family is that where you might shoot your own blood?  As for the guy who was shot, I dont know him but I believe he should have not been shot and your brothers should have not been armed. I will say I am sorry for your loss and pain as well as the victim's friends and family but your brothers are not the victims in any way.  

Humanity_Lost
Humanity_Lost

@nesabee you're obviously in the dark about your brothers , or just a bored reactionist posing as a family member to get their rocks off (god knows i see plenty of them) because your "brothers" were both gang banging pieces of drug dealing shit. end of story.

Humanity_Lost
Humanity_Lost

@dignitz @nesabee it's sad, but he should have minded his own business. It was none of his concern and he got involved trying to live up to some idealistic notion of Heroism he had in his mind, and the end result is that his life was tragically cut short and a wife and child are now without a husband/father.


Let this incident serve as an example to the next Dudley Do-Good that tries intervening on behalf of someone elses problem. "Be ready to expect the repercussions of your intervention and accept what happens."

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