Man gunned down in Colorado had Arizona ties

Posted at 9:54 PM, Feb 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-02 09:26:16-05

A transit officer in Denver, Colo. who had Arizona ties is dead after being shot late Tuesday night. 

Officers responded to reports of a shooting near Union Station around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

The victim, 56-year-old Scott Von Lanken of Loveland, was a security officer with Allied Universal. Witnesses told investigators that just before the shooting, the suspect approached the man from behind, pointed a gun to his neck and fired.

Shortly after the deadly shooting, police arrested 37-year-old Joshua Cummings. According to Denver7, Cummings has been "flagged" by federal investigators stemming from an altercation at a Texas mosque. He has no criminal history in Colorado.

MORE: Press conference after PD captured suspect

His sister-in-law, Sandy Ritter of north Phoenix, said Von Laken had previously been a Valley pastor at Assembly Church of God in Fountain Hills. The victim and his family moved to Denver 13 years ago.

"Scott was the most giving, kind-hearted man that I've probably ever known — next to maybe my husband," she said. "I don't think there's a person in this world ever who would be mad at Scott.

He leaves behind two daughters, and Ritter explained, the family is at a loss of what to do. She said his family will miss him and that anyone who knew him was a better person for it.

Ritter said Von Lanken had been a police officer “a number of years ago,” but he joined the ministry, went to Bible college and became a pastor.

He was in between churches and working the security job to feed his family.

“When my sister called me at 3 [a.m.], she told me, ‘Sandy, I have 40 cents in my wallet and we don’t have any groceries,” she said. “I don’t know if there’s help there, but that was one thing that was a concern to her.”