Police Investigate Homicide Near Citadel Mall

Credit: KKTV
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Colorado Springs police say a man was shot to death just before 3 p.m. Tuesday near the Citadel Mall. His body was found on Galley Road after police responded to a report of gunshots.

The victim is identified as Kenneth Chazz Pritchett, Jr., 31, from Colorado Springs. His death has been ruled a homicide, the fifth of the year for Colorado Springs.

Friends and witnesses tell 11 News the victim was shot in the chest Tuesday afternoon. Mark Cartwright was a close friend of the victim, and considered him family.

"[The victim] was a good dude, he was a standup gentleman and he was a charmer," Cartwright told us.

Friends and family set up a candlelight memorial where the victim was found.

"This is a tragic situation what happened," Cartwright said.

Witnesses Akeem Johnson and Joe Othon told 11 News they were in a tattoo shop across the street. Once they heard roughly five gunshots, they immediately ran outside. They said they could still see and smell smoke from the gun.

"[The victim] rolled off the sidewalk and I could see the blood on his shirt, so it was in the chest at point-blank it looks like," Johnson said.

"Pretty heartbreaking, it was like watching some horrible movie go down, everybody was like, 'Nooooo,'” Othon added.

Cartwright said the victim worked at a hair salon inside the Citadel Mall. He said the victim was walking to a friend's house after work when, he claims, the victim was fatally shot.

"It's just a sad, sad day for the city of Colorado Springs because Kenneth was a Colorado native...he went to high school here and he grew up here," Cartwright said.

Investigators said Pritchett was already dead in the street when officers arrived.

"There are some real dudes out there who are mourning in their own way,” Cartwright said. “All I can say is that I hope to God that God may have mercy on their soul, whoever it is."

Cartwright said the victim could put a smile on anyone's face, and he will be missed.

Roads near the mall and traffic north of the mall were being diverted through the mall's parking lot.

Police said at this point, they do not know if there is a danger to the community.

There is no suspect information at this time.