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Injured Bystander’s Attorney Decries Denver Police “Mass Shooting”

In the early hours of July 17, seven people were injured when the Denver Police Department responded to an incident on the edge of the Ballpark neighborhood: a suspect, 21-year-old Jordan Waddy, and six bystanders — three women and three men. It was the third officer-involved shooting within five days in Denver; the other two resulted in fatalities.

Now, attorney Siddhartha Rathod of Denver-based Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC reveals that the firm represents at least one of the innocent victims hurt during the incident, which he describes as “a mass shooting that occurred at the hands of the Denver Police Department.”The DPD version of events is detailed in Waddy’s arrest affidavit. At approximately 1:34 a.m. on July 17, several Denver Police officers were on duty working “an out-crowd assignment” — supervision of individuals leaving nightclubs — in LoDo as part of their regular duties.” Five officers whose names have been deleted from the document are said to have been “positioned near the intersection of 20th and Larimer Street monitoring the crowd as the bars in the area began to close.”

Around that time, one of the cops “observed an altercation evolving between three parties who were standing in front of the Larimer Beer Hall at 2012 Larimer Street,” the affidavit continued. The dust-up allegedly involved Waddy, distinguished by a black baseball cap with a Chicago White Sox logo, who “began to grab at his waistband and lifted up his hoody as though he was armed with a handgun.”

The officers approached Waddy, who began to walk away before returning to the vicinity of the Beer Hall, according to the affidavit. There, a cop “said he observed Waddy again reaching into his waistband or pocket in a motion consistent with pulling out a firearm.” Before long, an officer announced that Waddy had a gun, after which four to six shots were fired in his direction. A law enforcement officer said he saw a bloodied Waddy throw the firearm onto the ground, and after rendering aid to him and “several other victims who were injured during the shooting,” a detective processed the scene and found “a 10 mm Rock Island M1911 A2” handgun with one round in the chamber and seven in the magazine, as well as between five and ten “pills of suspected ecstasy (MDMA)” in a bag that Waddy had carried.

The affidavit doesn’t mention whether Waddy actually pulled his trigger, but a subsequent DPD press release acknowledged that “at this time, it appears the suspect did not fire the handgun,” and characterized the injuries suffered by the bystanders as “non-life-threatening.” The statement added: “Investigators are working to determine whether the injuries were a direct or indirect result of the officer-involved shooting (indirect could be from a ricochet or shrapnel, for example). The Department is certainly concerned about these individuals and will remain in contact with them to see how it can best assist with their recoveries.”

Rathod’s client, a local data analyst, had gone to the Beer Hall to celebrate the birthday of his fiancée’s brother. Around 1:30 a.m. on July 17, he and several others decided to leave in an effort to avoid the let-out masses. When gunshots sounded, the group ran to hide behind a parked car, but before they could reach shelter, Rathod’s client was shot in the arm, which immediately went limp. He was transported to a local hospital with two other victims — one who’d been grazed by a bullet and another shot in the leg. Shortly thereafter, doctors examined Rathod’s client and discovered a bullet and additional fragments in his arm, which was put into a cast with an opening near the entry point to allow drainage. His arm remains immobilized, and he suffered from intermittent breathing difficulties in the days that followed.

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