Denver Police Officer Dies In Shooting At City Park

Female Officer Pronounced Dead At Denver Health Medical Center

A female Denver police officer died after she was shot in the head while trying to break up a fight Sunday night during the City Park Jazz concert, police said.

The shooting happened at 8:07 p.m. as officers moved to break up a fight between two groups.

"Somebody came out firing their weapon (and) the officer was struck in the head," said Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson.

The gunfire created panic among the crowd of people at the concert.

"We were just sitting here listening to the music, and all of a sudden we saw everybody running, saying, 'Everybody get down. Everybody get down," said a woman who attended the concert with her two young daughters.

"We first thought it was a fight. But everybody was running, saying, 'Somebody got shot,'" the woman said.

The officer was rushed to Denver Health Medical Center where she was pronounced dead, Jackson said.

7NEWS was at the hospital when an ambulance carrying the mortally wounded officer arrived, escorted by more than a dozen patrol cars.

Jackson did not identify the officer. However, the mayor said that the female officer was well known in the department, and was a single mother raising a girl.

"The entire department, the entire city is feeling the pain of this tremendous loss. Many of us knew the officer personally," said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock. "She was a very dedicated police officer ... We will do everything we can to keep this city together and ask everyone who lives in the city to support our officers, who right now are very distraught over the loss of their co-worker and their colleague on the job."

"This is a great loss for the entire city, a senseless crime and a senseless loss. This was single mother with a beautiful, beautiful child who is now without her mother," Hancock added. " This city will come together as we always do in Denver and we will put our arms around this family and this child and make sure they know there's a city who absolutely loves them, who will lift them up and make sure they remain strong during this very difficult time."

Police radio traffic said the officer was shot near The Pavilion by Ferril Lake.

Police were questioning several people as they tried to find the shooter, Jackson said. Denver Police Chief Robert White said one arrest was made, but it was not clear if the person arrested was the shooter.

"We did make one arrest for an individual with a weapon ... It is not confirmed if that individual was involved in the shooting," White said.

7NEWS reporter Amanda Kost reported that at least three men were detained in handcuffs at the park, but some were released.

"We'll work diligently to bring those responsible for this loss in our city to justice," Hancock said.

Denver's mayor vowed to continue to hold public events such as the annual Jazz in the Park festival and to make sure they remained safe.

"We will not surrender this city or what we consider special to this city to anyone and we'll do everything we can to make sure people feel safe and enjoy that event and all events that take place in the spring and summer of this great city of ours," Hancock said.

Police said anyone with information about the officer's slaying can anonymously call Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867; or they can text CRIMES (274637) with the subject title DMCS and enter the message; or email metro-denvercrimestoppers.com.

The City Jazz Park Summer Concert series on Sunday night featured a tribute to Charlie Burrell, a master jazz bassist who is also a classical bassist for the Denver Symphony Orchestra, according to the City Park Jazz website. He was being accompanied by pianist Purnell Steen and Le Jazz Machine.

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