Edwards man murdered in Boulder
EDWARDS, Colorado – Todd Walker had planned and hoped to attend Eric Spry’s memorial service Friday night at the top of Vail Mountain.
He didn’t make it.
Walker was killed early Friday morning in Boulder near the University of Colorado, shot in the chest from point-blank range when a robbery went bad, Boulder police say.
Rob Parrish coached both Walker and Spry on the Battle Mountain High School track team, and was making his way to Spry’s memorial service where he was scheduled to speak. He couldn’t discuss Walker just then; one tragedy at a time is enough. Spry died last month of pneumonia in his dorm room at Colorado State University.
Friends and family of Walker are welcome to gather beginning at 4 p.m. today in Battle Mountain High School’s upstairs library.
“It’s nothing formal, just a place to gather,” said Phillip Qualman, Battle Mountain principal. “Todd had a lot of friends.”
“Todd carried so much life around with him. It was as if he had life to hand out to people,” said Dana Zilliox, one of his Battle Mountain English teachers.
Mark Walker, Todd’s father, agreed to speak Friday afternoon, about 14 hours after his son was killed.
“There are a lot of people in this town who know Todd, so I want the record to be clear,” Mark said.
Todd was on spring break from classes at the University of New Hampshire, where he’s playing football. He went to Boulder Thursday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with his high school buddies. He’s a 2008 Battle Mountain graduate and more than two dozen of his high school friends are at CU.
He was at a party in Boulder’s University Hill area with some of those buddies when a young woman, a friend of theirs, asked that someone walk her home. Walker volunteered. That was around 2 a.m.
As they approached a well-traveled intersection in the University Hill area, their assailant approached them. Todd was on her left and the assailant approached them from the right, Mark said.
The attacker wore a black bandanna over his face and an Analog brand snowboard jacket with the letters “A” and “G” monogrammed onto the chest, Boulder police said.
“The guy who attacked them tried to steal the woman’s purse,” Mark said. “It was so out of character for that area that she asked if he was kidding.”
Their attacker said “F— no!” Mark said.
During the scuffle, she yanked the bandana from his face and he pulled a gun from his jacket pocket. He fired the gun into the air and started to grab her.
Todd jumped in to separate them.
He and their attacker had a brief standoff and Todd told him, “C’mon man, just leave us alone,” Mark said.
The assailant squeezed off one more shot, point blank into Todd’s chest and heart from a foot away.
“He just shot Todd and ran. He didn’t get her purse or anything,” Mark said.
One of those Battle Mountain buddies called the Walkers from Boulder Community Hospital just before 2 a.m., telling them Todd had been shot, but that he might be OK, Mark said.
Mark called the hospital as he and his wife, Pam, were leaving Edwards. They learned that his son had died at the scene.
“The detective said Todd was a real hero, that he probably saved that girl’s life,” Mark said. “We went down to Boulder. It’s something I never thought I’d have to do.”
Police have not identified the woman with Walker.
“We’re not releasing her name right now. It’s early in the investigation. At some point we might. We can say she’s a student at CU, 21 years old,” said Kim Kobel with the Boulder police department.
She is not a Battle Mountain grad, Walker’s friends said Friday afternoon.
The woman was reportedly trying to perform CPR when the ambulance arrived. Police are trying to determine if Walker, the woman or their assailant knew each other previously. They’re also investigating whether Walker, the woman and their assailant had been at any of the same parties.
Police were called to break up one of those parties because of noise complaints. More than 500 people were there when police arrived, Kobel said.
The last time anyone saw the suspect, he was running away from the scene, Kobel said.
“We’re getting a lot of people calling the Tipsline, and we’re following up on every single one,” Kobel said.
Police are looking for:
• White male
• 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall, medium build.
• Blondish-brown hair
• The suspect was possibly wearing blue jeans, the black “Analog”-brand snowboard jacket with the initials “AG” displayed prominently over the left breast.
“He was a big-time athlete and a big-time person,” said Pat Engle, Walker’s football coach at Battle Mountain. “He was a special athlete and a special person and he comes from a great family. The world is missing one the true heroes this valley has put out there.”
Walker’s 2008 graduating class saw more than two dozen Battle Mountain students attend the University of Colorado, so, like everywhere else he was, he had plenty of friends both old and new.
“He was always making people laugh. No one hung around him without smiles on their faces,” said Johnny Stevens, one of those high school buddies who ended up at CU.
“His gregarious and striking personality could keep me laughing while simultaneously fighting off the urge to strangle him,” Zilliox said.
He was a 4.0 student, the starting quarterback on the Battle Mountain football team, a track star on the Huskies regional championship team, a hockey star and a lacrosse star.
He was named the Rocky Mountain News Class 3A top specialist in 2006 and helped lead the Huskies to back-to-back high school hockey championships in 2005 and 2006.
He also played on Battle Mountain’s 2008 high school lacrosse state championship team.
He earned All-State honors in football, hockey, track and lacrosse at Battle Mountain.
“Had an awesome football career,” Engle said. “He played wide receiver for his first three seasons, then switched to quarterback and left his mark on that position for a long time to come.”
During a year of post-graduate study at Lake Forest Academy, he caught the attention of the University of New Hampshire’s football coaches. He was a redshirt freshman wide receiver for the Wildcats.
Walker was a sophomore in the University of New Hampshire’s school of business and economics.
“Todd was a great kid and he will be missed in our classrooms and on the field,” UNH President Mark W. Huddleston said.
New Hampshire coach Sean McDonnell said Walker was “as fun-loving and hard-working a player as I’ve ever worked with.”
He was born May, 1, 1990. He was 20 years old when he was killed early Friday morning.
He is survived by his mother and father, Mark and Pam Walker, and an older sister Stephanie, who also graduated from Battle Mountain.
For what it’s worth, the Huskies track team Todd loved so much travels Saturday to Frederick, near Boulder, for a large invitational meet.
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