Denver police have arrested three suspects including two brothers in the deaths of five people whose bodies were found inside a Denver bar after a fire was set. The bodies were found at about 1:50 a.m. Wednesday by firefighters responding to a blaze at Fero's Bar & Grill, 357 S. Colorado Blvd., according to the Denver Police Department.
Investigators arrested Dexter Lewis, 22, Joseph Hill, 27, and Lynell Hill, 24, Wednesday night at about 11 p.m., Denver police announced Thursday morning.
"It appears the motive of this crime was a robbery," said Ron Saunier, Denver Police Department's major crimes unit commander. "The arson was set to try to cover up the crime."
Saunier said all three suspects will face five counts of first-degree murder, five counts of felony murder, aggravated robbery and arson. He said he does not believe that anyone who had been in the bar when the robbery began managed to escape. All customers and employees were killed.
Lewis was taken into custody in the 8300 block of East Colfax Avenue, police said, and Joseph and Lynell Hill, who are brothers, were arrested in the 4800 block of Quebec Street.
The victims have been identified as: Young Suk Fero, 63, the owner of the business;</a> Daria M. Pohl, 22, of Denver; Kellene Fallon, 45, of Denver; Ross Richter, 29; and Tereasa Beesley, 45, of Denver.
Saunier said he does not know which of the victims were employees and which were customers.
Tae Moon Park, Fero's brother, says police have told him his sister had been shot before the bar was set on fire.
Saunier said that the suspects entered Fero's shortly before the bar's 2 a.m. closing time.
They lit the bar on fire before they left the building.The fire was burning for 15 to 20 minutes before firefighters arrived at the scene, he said.He said he couldn't comment on whether the robbery was gang or drug related. He added that the investigation is in the beginning stages and that he could not discuss evidence.
Saunier did not mention how the evidence pointed to the three suspects. He said authorities do not believe there are other suspects linked to the crime.
The suspects have minor criminal records in Colorado, he said.
Denver Police Chief Robert White began the news conference by saying he was "elated" that his police officers were able to arrest the suspects in the case.
White thanked the numerous people in the city who phoned in tips to investigators. He said the ATF and the U.S. Marshal's Service assisted on the case."We think this is an isolated event," White began. "There is still much work to be done."