Video: Jeffco couple's trip to Denver ends in SUV shooting by possible "gang-bangers"

Categories: Colorado Crimes

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Big photos, video below.
Yesterday, we noted that a stabbing on the 16th Street Mall over the weekend is the sort of crime hated by civic groups, since it gives the impression that one of Denver's top tourist attractions isn't safe.

The same can be said of an incident involving a Jefferson County couple who visited Denver for an evening -- and barely escaped with their lives after their SUV was riddled with gunfire.

Details, photos and a video below.

The story comes to us courtesy of 7News, which spoke to the male half of the twosome. He asked to remain anonymous.

This past Saturday night, according to the man, he and his wife had dinner at The Tavern in Lower Downtown....

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...and then headed to the 13th Floor Haunted House on Brighton Boulevard.

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After enjoying an entertaining evening, the pair headed home at around 1 a.m. Sunday. But as they were near the intersection of 20th and Market en route to I-25, the man says two cars pulled up alongside their SUV and blocked the turn lane leading to the on-ramp that would start them on their ride home.

The occupants of both cars were reportedly leaning out their windows and yelling profanities at the couple, for reasons neither could comprehend. The man says he reacted by telling them to "buzz off," but they didn't take his advice -- so he first slammed on the brakes, then floored the SUV when the other two vehicles stopped, all in an effort to hit the highway.

In response, person or persons unknown opened fire, blowing out multiple windows of the SUV....

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...and piercing it with multiple bullet holes:

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The 7News story offers no descriptions of the other cars involved in the confrontation or the people inside them beyond the man's speculation that they may have been "gang bangers." That leaves Denver police investigators with little info with which to work, but spokesman Sonny Jackson says HALO camera surveillance footage is being examined with an eye toward figuring out who was involved. He encourages anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).

Until then, you can bet people promoting Denver as a fun and safe place to visit hope incidents like this one and the 16th Street Mall stabbing prove to be isolated rather than a trend.

Here's the 7News report, followed by an interactive graphic of the area near where the crime took place. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

More from our Mile High Murder archive circa August 2011: "David Hubbard killed in drive-by shooting from gray sedan near 33rd and Grape (14)."


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46 comments
Robert Barnhart
Robert Barnhart

It's the gang's that cause most of the problems in every city in the United States.

Maggie MacLagan
Maggie MacLagan

Betel Eli Guese I was already acutely aware of violence in CO. its not new

Stephanie Ann Hast-Clow
Stephanie Ann Hast-Clow

I live in Aurora...it's a coin toss...crime is everywhere, Denver is still safer now than it was when I hung out down there. As for the gangs...let the mafia sort them out, their aim is better.

Michelle Pearl Mobley
Michelle Pearl Mobley

I've been writing about the dangers of LoDo for months now. The office of Mayor "Take-My-Picture" Hancock disregard my warnings and complaints. The owners of venues that I used to patronize send me messages to come back and try to visit (and spend my consumer dollars) again...that it is not as bad as I say. But, if I cannot walk on a city sidewalk in LoDo, in the evening, without fear of random assault, or just being driven off that sidewalk by rowdy drunken millennials who had no parenting by their well-off parents, I won't be spending my consumer dollars down in that sewer of "entertainment". I will, however, be posting this article to my TripAdvisor account...Thanks WW.

Doug Chipman
Doug Chipman

Is it me, or does it seem like the more gun laws a city or state has, the more violent they become.

Jonathan Paul Wilson
Jonathan Paul Wilson

Here's an idea: maybe the Denver police department should stop setting up fucking speed traps all over the place and go catch some real criminals. Genius eh

Daniel J. King IV
Daniel J. King IV

Duuhhhh, buy a gun you stupid 'tampon-wearing yuppies' & if Gang-bangers SHOOT @ you & your wife/kids - TERMINATE their PUNK-ASSES with your 9mm Glock 17 with OPTIONAL 33 round mags !!!

Jeff Raiter
Jeff Raiter

I lived in Denver off and on for most of my life.Denver like many other major metropolitan cities is seeing an uptick in crime due to (wait for it) THE JOBS CRISIS. People who can not find gainful employment will do what ever it takes to survive. I now live near Phoenix Arizona and our news is full of the same stories. People killing people , cops killing people , kids dying because parents have nowhere to turn for help. The longer this partisan divide continues in this country the worse it is going to get.

Lou Santos
Lou Santos

3 years ago, I had been in town for 3 months. I pulled up to the door to a Chase Bank to get a couple bucks out of an ATM when my car was shot up by a guy holding a rag up to his face. I go back into the lobby and called 9-1-1. He fled on foot. Totally unprovoked and cops never found the guy. So that was 3 years ago, I don't think it is any less safe today.

Shasta Fite
Shasta Fite

Everywhere in the country is seeing an increase in poor, desperate folks. It isn't just confined to Denver.

McShyster
McShyster

The man says he reacted by telling them to "buzz off,"
so he first slammed on the brakes, then floored the SUV when the other two vehicles stopped.

So he instigated the incident by using his vehicle as a 4000lb weapon.

Reap what ye sow.


Jonathan Noa
Jonathan Noa

Actually denver is much safer when talking murder than the average metropolis. it is car theift and rape that the city ranks poorly on.

Jonathan Noa
Jonathan Noa

And more guns doesnt equal less shootings. that nra nest egg is a lie. its propaganda from an industry who makes guns. violence begat more violence. you reap what you sow. karma. what goes around comes around.

Jonathan Noa
Jonathan Noa

Gang violence is a serious problem in MOST cities in the states. in my own two years in denver i was personally introduced to gang violence in 4 different experiences. luckily my part was more or less as a bystander. i moved out of the city because it was TOO much for me. but i still love denver and i still love living close. it is a bigger issue of the dangers of gangs. unfortunately more police doesnt equal less gangs. for example. LA. it can only be combated by offering people economic means for themselves. the same people mixed in with crime and gangs are the same ones who have worked countless meaningless jobs. the public use of marijuana is a seperate issue but i admit it smells better than the breath of politicians right now

tony514
tony514

75% of these post have brought up the topic of weed! Weed has been in every state in America Since George Washington brought it to America Many years ago. 

I do not think that now that its legalized that every crime in Colorado should be assosiated with weed.im sorry if you never tried pot and you imagine that it makes you angry and hostle,but it doesn't.

Gina Ricciardi
Gina Ricciardi

Denver is no less safe than anywhere else. Media chooses to highlight these stories, but the good news? Maybe those stories get a 3 minute spot shoved in after sports when no one is paying any more attention. People still visit NYC, Chicago, New Orleans....Denver's tourism will be fine.

Ryan Gallaher
Ryan Gallaher

Yeah, because some yahoo with a gun on his side will prevent homeless people from stabbing each other.

Jordan Snyder
Jordan Snyder

@jerry jones - HUH? I have conceal and carry and I'm not whining about it. It's a big responsibility so I make sure the wind doesn't blow my dress up and show my gun. Jackass. Also, Westword, you should change the phrase "the male half of the couple" because it's 2013 and not all couples are comprised of one male and one female.

John Paul Rojas
John Paul Rojas

Denver has come a long way since the late 80s and 90s. Rocky Mountain Skinheads used to roam the streets and LoDo was pretty non existent as it is today. Colfax was Colfax but it was a little sketchier. Gentrification is happening and more yuppies are moving in everyday that demand civic change. Overall I think Denver is pretty safe but unfortunately crime will always happen no matter where you live, play or work. Not sure about the above story but it seems a bit odd. Not sure why there are very little details or descriptions.( just because you live in the suburbs that doesn't make you an innocent ) I agree the city should focus on crime but at the same time I understand the need to regulate laws that will impact us all with the new pot laws. I personally don't want to smell pot when I'm in a public place. Ie, bars, restaurants, work places and should be confined to homes or smoking establishments. Maybe even designated pot locations. Be aware of your surroundings. Confrontations aren't necessary. Why did he yell at the aggressors? Travel in packs whenever possible ( walking alone at night can be risky, especially if you are intoxicated ) just because Denver may seem safe never let your guard down. Cops can't be on every street corner 24 7. I'm not sure how an armed citizen would change anything? Please explain that scenario to me. I'm a veteran and I'm not sure how that changes the game.

Jerry Jones
Jerry Jones

Just a coincidence that Denver has the most restrictions on law abiding citizens being armed to protect themselves? I think not. And again proof that stricter gun laws don't keep them out of the hands of criminals, it only keeps them out of the hands of law abiding citizens that would use them to defend themselves and others. Because of the restrictive gun laws in Denver it is not as safe as it could be and tourists should be concerned for their safety in a place where law abiding citizens are less likely to be armed. Even a lot of people who generally carry concealed will not in Denver because of the strict penalties for even an accidental violation of Denver's gun laws like your coat raising up slightly showing your firearm or the wind blowing it open showing your firearm even if you have a concealed carry permit. When are people going to learn that taking guns away from law abiding citizens who only want to protect themselves and others increases crime substantially? How can such a large group of people be so blind to obvious things. The way the laws in Denver and even throughout Colorado are, if there had been an armed good Samaritan near the scene of that stabbing or the attempted murder of that couple, they would have been in violation of the law and criminally liable if they had used their guns in the defense of those victims. Come on people, wake up and realize that the citizens that want to be able to defend themselves and others are not the enemy here. The people that would use guns to do harm and commit crimes are the enemy and they will never pay attention to or follow any gun laws that are made.

Sydney Vee
Sydney Vee

Not to mention, marijuana, by nature, isn't a violent drug. It produces relaxation and mild feelings of euphoria- people don't smoke weed then go out looking for someone to stab. I don't like to smoke pot, and I don't really like the smell when I walk past someone smoking a blunt on Colfax- but I do like that I feel pretty secure in the feeling that Mr. Stoner isn't going to stab me. So smoke away, stinky-man! Smoke away!

Daniel Laplante
Daniel Laplante

Denver is a pillow soft as F$&K really weak there sport teams the fans and the 16th mall. Being from philly this place sucks my job moved me here boo Denver

Sydney Vee
Sydney Vee

I'm from New Orleans, which is exponentially more dangerous than Denver, and exponentially more popular as a tourism destination. Make the city safe for the residents, tourism will happen on its own.

Kevin A. Mahmalji
Kevin A. Mahmalji

I suggest city officials get serious about the real issues facing Denver residents. LoDo continues to be a public safety concern every night the bars close, but the Denver City Council is more concerned about smelling marijuana in public areas. You can get stabbed on 16 street Mall, but thankfully you won't have to smell that pesky marijuana as you lay and wait for medical attention.

Charlene McCune
Charlene McCune

Yes they could... maybe Denver needs to step up its arrest record a bit... the problem is that the ones who do it..know they can get away from it...

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Doug Chipman Interesting viewpoint, Doug. Thanks for sharing it.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Jonathan Paul Wilson There certainly don't seem to be any speed trap shortages these days. Thanks for the post, Jonathan.

mandi75
mandi75

@@Daniel J. King IV  and You will go behind bars for killing that dirt.???

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Jeff Raiter Some very good points, Jeff. Thanks for posting.

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Lou Santos Scary story, Lou. Thanks for sharing it with us.

sokpuppy
sokpuppy

@McShyster He drove off, he stopped and tried to trick them by driving off after they stopped. He never used his car as a weapon, I hope you reap what you so. Have some humanity and think about what actually happened to these people.


mandi75
mandi75

@@Jonathan Noa  and 0ur  Police is no where when we need them!!!!

michael.roberts
michael.roberts moderator editortopcommenter

@Jonathan Noa Very interesting post, Jonathan. We're going to make it an upcoming Comment of the Day. Thanks.

McShyster
McShyster

@tony514 "Since George Washington brought it to America"

LOL!

Another idiot stoner lie.

mandi75
mandi75

@@Jerry Jones absolutely!!!

sokpuppy
sokpuppy

@Daniel Laplante Then simply leave.


McShyster
McShyster

@Kevin A. Mahmalji 

Pot cures stab wounds!


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