Attorney: Photo shows Iron Order member with gun before deadly shooting at Colorado Motorcycle Expo

DENVER - Police are still actively investigating Saturday’s Motorcycle shooting and haven’t made any arrests as of yet.

The National Council of Clubs released to us a Photo snapped by an eye witness showcasing another angle of the incident. The picture shows what the Council says an Iron Order member holding a gun. The Council Clubs attorney was at the event at the time and witnessed the confrontation. According to the council, he heard gun shots and shortly after one person was deceased.

“The information made available to us is fairly telling and it was identified by an attorney who is a member of the bar,” said Spokesperson with the National Council of Clubs, David Devereaux.

The Iron Order lawyer, says these allegations as well as the picture are outright fabrications.

“The picture that was sent to me today coupled with self-serving statement from the National Council of Clubs, a known mouthpiece for the 1% motorcycle community, have numerous inconsistencies and outright fabrications,” said Iron Order lawyer, John Whitfield.

Police haven’t named any suspects in this shooting and aren’t calling the man in the picture the shooter.  Police did say in a press conference today that a territorial type of altercation took place down at an area at the bottom of the stairs.  Police are encouraging the public who were at the event and have snapped pictures of taken video of the incident to come forward with the information. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new photo shows a man with a gun moments before a Mongols Motorcycle Club member was shot and killed at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo on Saturday, according to an attorney for the victim's club.

Authorities have not said whether the man pictured with the gun -- a member of the Iron Order Motorcycle Club, shot anyone during the melee. However, an attorney for the Iron Order club said one of its members fired his gun in self-defense. 

Seven other people were injured when gunfire and at least one stabbing occurred as about 10,000 people, including children, attended the expo at the National Western Complex in Denver.

Lawyers for both the Mongol Motorcycle Club and Iron Order Motorcycle Club blame the opposing group for the bloodshed.

The National Council of Clubs, an umbrella organization that says it is "dedicated to protecting the political and legal interests of hundreds of motorcycle clubs," on Monday released a photo showing a big man in an Iron Order uniform holding a black handgun as he climbs some stairs at the expo with several motorcycle club members behind him.

A Council of Clubs attorney, Wade Eldridge, said in a statement that he witnessed a confrontation between 20 to 30 members of the Mongols and Iron Order.

Eldridge described hearing a gunshot and seeing a member of Iron Order pointing a gun. The man lowered the gun after people shouted, "Put your gun away," the attorney said.

The Council of Clubs says one of its members took the photo of the man with the gun after the first shot was fired. 

An attorney for the Mongols Motorcycle Club, Stephen Stubbs, told Denver7 that an Iron Order member fired a shot after the initial clash, and then the gunman took off up the stairs. Stubbs said Iron Order's members includes law enforcement officers.

According to Stubbs, the fatal victim, 46-year-old Victor Mendoza, can be seen in the background of the photograph, before he was shot. He's a bearded man in sunglasses at the bottom of the staircase.

After the photo was taken, the fight escalated and someone shot and killed Mendoza.

John C. Whitfield, an attorney representing the Iron Order Motorcycle Club and a member himself, told the Associated Press that an Iron Order member who works for the Colorado Department of Corrections fired his gun in self-defense during the confrontation with the Mongols. Whitfield told Denver7 that none of the other Iron Order members involved in the fight were off-duty law enforcement officers.

On Monday, the Department of Corrections identified the employee involved in the incident as Derrick Duran, 33. He works as a corrections officer at the DOC's Denver Complex, which includes the Denver Reception and Diagnostic Center, where all inmates entering the state prison system are processed and assessed.

Duran has been employed with the DOC since May 2012 and is currently on administrative leave with pay while the case is under investigation, the DOC said in a statement.

Under the DOC's Code of Conduct, "Any actions on or off duty on the part of DOC employees, contract workers, and volunteers, that jeopardized the integrity or security of the Department, calls into question one's ability to perform effectively and efficiently in his/her position, or casts doubt upon the integrity of DOC employees, contract workers, and volunteers is prohibited."

"The department will continue to cooperate with all agencies involved in this matter," the DOC statement concluded.

Denver police continue to investigate the deadly clash, but no one had been arrested as of Monday.

Given the large number of witnesses and the complex crime scene, it will take time for police to complete their investigation, said Lynn Kimbrough, spokeswoman for Denver District Attorney Mitch Morrissey.

"Think about this scene, think about how many people were there. It's going to take time for the Denver Police Department to thoroughly investigate this and to put that investigation together for our review," she said.

"The district attorney is monitoring the investigation. Once it's completed, he will review it for any criminal charges," Kimbrough said.

Denver Police said at a Monday news conference that investigators are searching for photos and video related to the expo incident. Detectives did not cite the photo showing the gunman at the news conference.

Whitfield, the Iron Order attorney, said the fight started when a Mongols member uttered a racial slur to an African-American member of the Iron Order.

Whitfield said 30 members of the Mongols club then "jumped" 16 Iron Order members, severely beating some members and stabbing at least one person.

The Iron Order members feared for their lives and one member -- the DOC employee -- pulled out a gun and fired in self-defense, Whitfield said. The attorney said he thinks some of the Mongols also had guns.

Stubbs, the Mongols' attorney, maintained that Iron Order members started the brawl.

Mongol members were on the bottom floor of the motorcycle expo at their booth when several Iron Order members entered the area and started staring at the Mongols, Stubbs said. Some Mongol members left the booth to confront the Iron Order members who were drunk and yelling obscenities at the Mongols, Stubbs claimed.

According to Stubbs, one of the Iron Order members pulled out a gun and started threatening some of the Mongols. A fight broke out and one of the Mongols was shot, seriously injuring him.

Iron Order members retreated up the stairs where they continued shouting obscenities, Stubbs said. One of the Mongol members, Mendoza, tried to run up the stairs to confront the Iron Order again. Mendoza was fatally shot by an Iron Order member, Stubbs said. 

When that happened, the brawl escalated with multiple shootings,  fistfights and a stabbing.

"No reason to pull out a gun when they're in a fist fight," said Stubbs. "The Iron Order is known to have cops that, they're not the kind you talk to on the street. They've got egos. They're living out a Sons of Anarchy."

Stubbs said no Mongol had a gun.

The three people who were the most seriously injured are from the Iron Order. Two were initially in critical condition, but have been stabilized, and the third was released from the hospital.

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