Update, 12:45 p.m.: Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen at a press conference Tuesday afternoon said investigators have determined that Monday’s shooting was an exchange of gunfire between two men.
One of the men was among the injured and faces federal weapons charges. The other escaped in a vehicle but police were able to use witness descriptions to find and arrest him. He is being held for an investigation of first degree murder.
“We do believe that this was a targeted shooting, that this was not random,” Pazen said. “Who exactly in this group was targeted remains under investigation and our team is working hard to identify any and all participants in this crime.”
Police said one person is dead and four others are injured after a shooting near 21st and Lawrence streets in downtown Denver Monday afternoon.
Denver Police spokesman Doug Schepman said the information on Monday evening was preliminary. He said it was too early to tell what caused Monday’s shooting.
There is no information on a suspect or suspects at this time. Police are unsure how many shooters were involved and said it was too early to say how many gunshots were fired. He said police aren’t sure if the shooting was random or targeted.
The suspect or suspects are at-large.
“Our investigators are currently getting witness statements, seeking any video or photo evidence that might help us to piece together exactly what happened here,” Schepman said.
Denver Health spokesman Simon Crittle confirmed this and said the victims transported to the hospital are in critical condition.
Police received reports of gunshots around 4 p.m. in the area. Witnesses told officers there was another victim who walked away — a woman who was shot in the leg — but police have been unable to confirm that, Schepman said. Denver Police said in a tweet after a brief press conference that the victims taken to the hospital were believed to have non-life-threatening injuries.
“Responding officers did locate four people suffering from gunshot wounds,” Schepman said in a press conference soon after the shooting.
That number went up around 8:30 p.m. A spokesman said the additional victim was not discovered later, just that the original count was incorrect.
The scene is three blocks from Coors Field.
“Downtown is obviously a very populated area,” Schepman said. He added, “We’re obviously concerned because, you know, we have a shooting involving four victims here and so our investigators are working hard to be able to determine what happened her here to try to locate the party that’s responsible for it.”
Schepman said police didn’t have any information connecting Monday’s incident with a homicide near Park Avenue West and Lawerence Street on Sunday.
Nellie Louk was sitting near a parking lot just steps away from the area police had taped off on Monday. Louk, who said she’s currently homeless, said she was near the same spot near 21st when she heard gunshots.
She said she heard four shots before seeing a man run up the street.
“I tried to get up, and my legs went out from underneath because my legs are paralyzed,” Louk said. She heard at least two more shots. “I just heard it. I didn’t see nothing, just the guy running… that’s about all I know.”