Red Rocks shooting: Jeffco sheriff's office on illegal-search claims, hunt for gunman
We've been reporting about a triple shooting at Red Rocks last week in which hip-hop artist Schoolboy Q was the likely target. Two Westword writers were caught in the delays that followed the incident, including our Bree Davies, who says she didn't get out of the area until 2:30 a.m. and was only allowed to do so after she was asked to step out of her car so that it could be searched.
More photos below.
We asked Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jacki Kelley to take us through the incident step by step, and her account differs substantially from the one Davies offers.
"At 2227 -- right about 10:30 -- we received our first call in reference to shots fired in the Red Rocks Park area," Kelley says about the incident, which took place near the Red Rocks Trading Post outside the amphitheater. "Initially, Denver police were on scene because Denver actually works events at that venue. So Denver had a response already in place and private security they use for those concerts was already there, too.
"When the call went out, more Denver police officers responded, and there was also a large response from the Jeffco sheriff's office. And in the next few minutes, officers from Lakewood, the CSP [Colorado State Patrol] and Morrison arrived -- and also Denver Mountain Parks."
Images from the post-shooting scene at Red Rocks from 7News coverage.
Kelley doesn't have a precise number of law enforcers on scene but describes the gathering as "an extremely large law-enforcement response."
From the moment of their arrival, Jeffco sheriff's reps "had several issues on the plate -- one of which was the initial report saying this was likely an active shooter at the park during the concert," Kelley continues. "Those are words you never want to hear -- and Denver's initial response was to close down the entrances and the exits to the park in the event that we needed to set up a perimeter.
"The concert was still going on. Schoolboy Q was done, but he wasn't the last performer of the evening. And what we know now is that many people had no idea the shooting even occurred. The concert was loud enough that the shots weren't heard unless you were in the direct vicinity. And we didn't want to stop the concert for this incident. It didn't get over until about midnight, and after the access routes to the park were blocked off, there wasn't a tremendous impact, because a lot of people weren't really coming and going yet. There was some traffic, since not everybody stays for every performer, but not as much as when the concert was over."
Another factor: A major gate to Red Rocks has been closed for construction, putting additional stress on the other routes. The closed gate "was still manned by the police, and there were a few people who meandered down there not knowing they couldn't get out that way," Kelley reveals. "So it was good the officers were there."
Even under the best circumstances, "you have major congestion when a concert's over," Kelley concedes. "That's just something you know you're going to deal with, particularly at Red Rocks. But we certainly slowed people down, no question."
Continue for more of our interview with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Jacki Kelley about the shooting at Red Rocks, including additional photos.