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Family evicted after mother killed by gunman

DENVER — Federal housing officials are condemning a decision by the Denver Housing Authority to evict the relatives of a woman killed by a rampaging gunman three days after her slaying, saying there is room for compassion in federal law.

A Housing and Urban Development spokesman, Jerry Brown, said Tuesday that his agency hopes Denver will reconsider after the victim’s mother and autistic son were locked out of their subsidized housing. The personal property of 47-year-old Sandra Roskilly was also seized and turned over to a public administrator.

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Brown said federal lease agreements for subsidized housing with communities limit the ability of residents to turn over property to other people, but the rules are not carved in stone.

‘‘Our rules and guidelines are just that, and we would hope people would use compassion. They have discretion, which is why the city has a board to administer it. There was no notification on our end of an eviction, and we didn’t have a say in it,’’ he said. Brown said his agency is reviewing the case to see what steps can be taken to help the family.

The Denver Housing Authority said it was forced to evict Doris Kessler, 70, under federal law because Roskilly was the head of the household.

Police said 31-year-old Daniel Abeyta killed Roskilly and shot a second woman in her leg on Friday. Abeyta is hospitalized and facing a first-degree murder charge.

The Denver Housing Authority was apologetic about Monday’s eviction and issued a statement to KMGH-TV, saying it had no choice.

The Denver Housing Authority owns and manages subsidized public housing under an agreement with the federal government.

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