Skip to main content

Native Lives Matter: Community Seeks Funding for Funeral, Burial of Man Killed by Denver Police

The community is rallying to help raise funds for the funeral and burial of Paul Castaway, 35, a citizen of the Lakota Nation, who was shot and killed by police on July 12.

The family of a Native American man who was shot and killed by a Denver police officer more than a week ago is now saddled with the financial burden of burying their loved one.

In response, supporters have launched a crowdfunding page for the family of Paul Castaway, 35, who was shot four times in the torso by police on July 12. Castaway later died at Denver Health.

Paul Castaway, left, a citizen of the Lakota Nation, was shot and killed by police on July 12. Photo courtesy

RELATED: Police Shoot, Kill Mentally Ill Native American Man; Family Demands Justice

While the family seeks justice for Castaway, they are also caught planning and funding his funeral and burial, according to the page. The average cost of a funeral today is estimated between $7,000 and $10,000.

“Paul, a registered member of the Lakota Sioux Nation, leaves behind family, friends, and a frightened and angered community who now seek justice,” the page’s description reads. “However, Paul's family first has to bury their son, brother, and father. And they need our help to ensure they can do just that. Any and all donations made will first go to cover funeral expenses. Any excess funds will be given directly to Paul’s mother and family, to help provide them the support they need at this time.”

Denver Police Chief Robert White told The Denver Post Castaway was getting “dangerously close” to officers with a long knife when an officer opened fire, but video surveillance at a nearby mobile park allegedly shows Castaway holding the knife to his neck, threatening himself and not police.

Castaway’s mother, Lynn Castaway Eagle Feather, said her son suffered from schizophrenia. The cause of the psychiatric disorder, which manifests in paranoia, hallucinations, and delusions, among other symptoms, is unknown to medical researchers.

Services for Castaway are scheduled for Wednesday. He will be laid to rest on Thursday.