4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park: What I saw and heard

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Civic Center is quiet this morning: the grass raked, the trash collected...and the crime scene tape down. The Denver Police Department had used it to cordone off the southeast corner of the park after after multiple shots rang out -- stampeding the crowds and leaving three 4/20 celebrants with bullet wounds. The shootings happened just over half an hour after 4:20 p.m., when tens of thousands of pot partiers lit up in a collective puff to celebrate the legalization of recreational marijuana use in Colorado. But all those high spirits soon evaporated.

As I headed toward the park shortly before 5 p.m., I passed a half-dozen motorcycle cops parked just east of Broadway. That was a good sign, I thought: The 4/20 moment must have passed without incident, and the DPD was letting the party continue on.

I was on the southeastern edge of the park, about a hundred feet from the Greek Amphiteatre, when I heard the shots -- probably a half-dozen by my count, although activist Timothy Tipton heard more. After the horrific events of the last week in Boston, the last year in Colorado and Connecticut, the last decade around the world, they sounded unreal. But the crowds that started running in all directions were real enough. So were the motorcycles that soon sped into the park, stopping just before the wall to the east of the amphitheatre, where a man was down. His dog was by his side. As police cars arrived, the crime scene tape went up.

Across the park, you could see more people running in different directions, as rumors started spreading. Police cars and ambulances were speeding down Broadway (turns out, there was a traffic accident at 11th and Acoma streets about the same time). But much of the scene was surprisingly calm. While thousands had fled, thousands remained in the park. Outside of the barricaded corner, many people were waiting to find out what had happened (two people wounded in the legs were transported in the hospital, one person grazed by a bullet walked there, and the DPD are still looking for suspects), waiting to see if the music would start again (it didn't), passing joints while they waited to figure out it the party was over.

It was, at least for last night. What buzz wasn't killed by the shots was finished off by the rain that arrived shortly after 6 p.m., putting a final damper on the country's largest 4/20 celebration.


From the "Calhoun: Wake-Up Call archive: "Will reporters have to stay pot-free in Colorado? Not at Westword."


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39 comments
Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

If we were to CONVINCE all who have gone astray, heaven provides ALL the FREE drugs & NEVER runs out ....,

Perhaps some would begin killing a cop or two dozen, then themselves .....

Monkey
Monkey

Eye witnesses are so credible, huh? This one says 6 shots, the other says 12 at least, and another says shots and bombs. Yet no one is saying what actually happened, no count on recovered casings or what size ammo was used? That would be the first thing police do. Where did the bullets go, are there chips in the walls, grass and concrete, were some stuck by ricochet? 

Stephan Reuchlein
Stephan Reuchlein

Using marijuana may not make people violent, however, drugs attracts violence regardless of its legal status.

mich.cannabisunivers
mich.cannabisunivers

"This IS NOT govt false flag nor a gang slaying, This is stupidity from the idiots that are in civic center park every day nothing more than stupidity and idiots. The guy was no assassin could barely handle or aim his 9mm just scared to use fists." Rev. B Baker from only a few yards from shooting. (A gun issue, really....my opinion ML)

Matt Baca
Matt Baca

The video of the shooting clearly shows several bursts of list coming from the stage. Now the report is the shots came from "near" the stage. What better way to errode a peaceful gatherings ability to freely gather for a politically unpopular gathering than a shooting?

CommonSense
CommonSense

There was also a shooting of a cop at a Jazz Festival in the Park, no one is saying musicians are the problem...  Keep calm.

Josh Bradley
Josh Bradley

Let's not lose sight of the fact that thousands of people gathered together yesterday and had no problems. There's always one jerkoff in the crowd who does something stupid and gives the media something to report on to make the group as a whole look dangerous or unruly. The focus should be that 99% of the people were having a great, peaceful time. The shooting probably had nothing to do with weed but some hoodlum(s) brought some attitude/beef and ruined it for everyone. In other news at the private High Times event it was nothing but peace and happiness...

brendalott55
brendalott55

Legalization  has pissed a lot of people off.  The dealers won't be making big money as they once were and the RWNJs who opposed legalization aren't happy and are usually armed.  So - could have been one or t'other or just general gang activity.  Nothing to get all worked up about - life in the city in 2013.

Chris Ricciardi
Chris Ricciardi

Had a great time yesterday @ The 4/20 Rally! But of course, some wanna-be "gangsta" who is too insecure about his own manhood to leave the piece at home for 4 freakin' hours, had to ruin the peaceful gathering. Hey, this goes out to all you "thugs" out there...if you can't be peaceful for one damn day, then stay your pants-saggin' off, sh*t-startin', wanna-be-thug-life ass at home. Just sayin.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

I watched some cops stash a cpl young black men into the trunks of two police cruisers ....

W/O cuffs ......

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

The Right of Dope Smoking Criminals to Keep and Bear Arms Shall NOT Be Infringed !!

If only all the other stoners had been packing heat, they could have stopped this tragedy by engaging in a massive public firefight.

Puerile Pot Punks + Pistols = what could possibly go wrong?


stuka1
stuka1

@swellsSWells828  

We should blame movie theaters. Oh, and elementary schools. Oh, and marathon runners.  Oh and.....

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Monkey "This one says 6 shots, the other says 12 at least, and another says shots and bombs"

Stoners aren't known for their ability to accurately observe and analyze reality.



stuka1
stuka1

@Stephan Reuchlein <====== Generalization Fallacy Epic logical FAILURE!

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@mich.cannabisunivers  This is a politically,(including law enforcement), backed attack against marijuana & a poorly written Amnd64 !

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Matt Baca "several bursts of list"

Speak English, stoner.

stuka1
stuka1

@Matt Baca  

Which video are you talking about?

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@brendalott55 " The dealers won't be making big money as they once were"

Utter nonsense.

Juan_Leg
Juan_Leg

@Chris Ricciardi  Thugs, I don't believe communicate by FaceBook . Try handing out fliers on east Colfax ...

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@stuka1  "a cube has 6 FACES X 4 SIDES = 24 SIDES"

Galactic FAIL!

stuka1
stuka1

@Juan_Leg Yeah because fucking gangbangers are sooooooo involved in politics...

brendalott55
brendalott55

@DonkeyHotay @brendalott55 

As availability increases and purchases are no longer covert, prices will drop exponentially.  Always cheaper on the open market rather than underground.  

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay Oh, look, how sad and pathetic that you could think of nothing to do all day besides trolling and reading every one of my posts. 

@DonkeyHotay = Epic LOSER

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@brendalott55 "Always cheaper on the open market rather than underground.  "

Pure IDIOCY.

stuka1
stuka1

@brendalott55 Don't mind the Jackass, brenda, It can't think its way out of a wet pet paper bag and it makes up its own "facts". 

stuka1
stuka1

@DonkeyHotay <===== You really should wipe that Kevin Sabet-shit off your lips. hth

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