CLEVELAND, OH – Shmuel Silverberg was 19-years-old when he was shot to death on August 17, 2021 in front of the Yeshiva Etz Chaim at 1555 Stewart Street in Denver, Colorado by one of five masked males. The organized crime gang of Denver youth had shot another man after stealing his car. Silverberg was shot to death as he tried to save his life by fleeing back into the yeshiva. He was followed. The shooter did not want him to live. Police want to know why.
What looks like a hate crime when it comes to Silverberg’s vicious killing in front of the yeshiva or Hebrew academy isn’t say police chief Paul Pazen and the rabbis who oversee it. Police haven’t identified the shooter among the 5-member organized crime gang.
Silverberg is the son of Rabbi Mordechai and Dena Silverberg. The family, according to the Cleveland Jewish News, had relocated to University Heights two years ago and recently moved to New Jersey. The homicide victim’s Levaya and Kevura or memorial service was held in Lakewood, New Jersey. The younger Silverberg, Shmuli as he was known by this family, had left home to attend the religious school in Denver.
Four of five young men or bochur in Hebrew were arrested by Denver police as suspects. According to Pazen’s news conference they appear not to have exercised their right to remain silent and told Denver cops they did not target the Russian youth or the Hebrew school. The attack on Silverberg and the Hebrew school was as random as the other crimes of theft and violence they’d committed earlier. The now deceased Silverberg is Case No. 2021-472686.
According to Denver’s police chief the 5-member gang are suspects in three other crimes that all occurred on Tuesday, August 17th, between 10 p.m. and 11:35 p.m. They first tried to steal a car and left when confronted by someone one of the gang members showed his weapon. At 10:50 p.m. they stole two vehicles. One by carjacking. They robbed a man on the street who the gunman among them shot after he was ordered to lay on the ground. He survived but was in critical condition the night of the shooting. Their last victim at 11:35 p.m. was Silverberg in front of the yeshiva.
Police with federal help caught the four suspects within 36 hours of the last shooting. A $2000 Crimestoppers reward was issued for the capture of a 5th suspect that was upped to $27,000 after Jewish donors contributed another $25,000 to ensure his capture. Samuel Robert Fussell, 19, is now a very wanted man.
In investigating the once local man’s homicide it was observed how the large volume of “media attention” paid to his death came from news sources within the Jewish community in the United States of America. The victim’s picture was delivered to the network of Jewish news organizations and the tragedy was shared everywhere. The way the national Jewish community network rallied around the family and “cooperated” with law enforcement officials appears to be the reason the suspects were apprehended within 36 hours.
“Our community is our eyes and ears. They help us to identify individuals who are responsible for crimes like this,” Pazen said.
According to Jewish law Silverberg’s body was supposed to be buried within 24 hours after his 11:35 p.m. August 17th Tuesday death. I have observed how the Jewish press has listed his death date as August 18th. His levaya and kevura was scheduled for midnight on August 19th with a burial planned later in the day.
In the Torah autopsies are forbidden. State laws in the 50 states require coroners and medical examiners to determine how a violent death victim died. State law could be the reason for the delay. According to Jewish law if an autopsy is performed the body must be buried within three days.
The Russian rabbis in Denver held a memorial service for “Shmuli” that I’ve shared in this post. Said one there’s a lesson to be learned from his life. Community.
Fussell could still be in Denver. He could have fled the area. He’s still wanted.
720-913-7867 is the number to call Denver police to report the wanted man’s whereabouts. He should be considered armed and dangerous. Reference Case No. 2021-472686.