Couple says strangers chased their SUV, rammed it with a car and shot it 5 times in Denver Sunday

Police seek witnesses to possible road rage attack

DENVER - Five bullet holes and a floor full of shattered glass are reminders of the terror a Jefferson County couple faced late Saturday night following a night out in LoDo.

The husband, who asked that their names not be used, says he and his wife had gone to The Tavern for dinner and then drove to The 13th Floor Haunted House on Brighton Boulevard. He said they were on their way home just after 1 a.m. Sunday when two cars pulled up alongside them at 20th and Market streets.

"We were heading toward I-25 when two cars pinned us in the center lane," he said. "They wouldn’t allow us to get into the turn lane to get on the ramp."

The husband told 7NEWS that people in both cars were leaning out their windows and yelling.

"They were halfway out of their cars," he said, "yelling profanities and my wife and I."

When asked what prompted the confrontation, he said, "I don't know. We didn’t have an altercation with anyone at dinner or at the haunted house."

When asked if he said anything to the people in the two cars, he replied, "When one of them was yelling at my wife, I said something like 'buzz off."

The husband said he slammed on his brakes as they got closer to I-25 and that when both cars stopped, too, he "gunned it" to get in front and onto the ramp.

"They proceeded to attack us," he said. "They hit our SUV and then opened fire."

He pointed out some red paint on the left rear quarter panel of his Black Toyota SUV where he says one of the cars, described as a red Honda Civic, struck them.

He also pointed out five bullet holes -- one near the left rear quarter panel window, one on the bottom of the back tailgate, one near the license plate, one in the left rear tail light and one on the interior of the SUV near the right back door.

The husband said he shudders to think what may have happened had the couple's four children been in the SUV.

"If they’d been in the vehicle, (in the back seat) it would have been a different situation," he said.

The SUV owner says responding officers told them there was little they could do since the couple didn't get license plate information.

"We were running from bullets," he said. "The officers gave us an index card and said a detective would call us Monday,"

He said it was only when his friend showed up and asked to borrow one of the officer's flashlights that they looked for bullet slugs left in the SUV.

"They pried them out with a knife and put them in a bag," the husband said.

Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson says he doesn't know what the officers told the couple or what the couple told them.  He said investigators are trying to find the people responsible.

"They're looking at HALO (security) cams and are asking anyone who may have witnessed the incident to call police," Jackson said.

"Incidents like this are rare," he added. "Anytime a gun is fired it concerns us, because bullets don’t have names and people can get hurt."

Jackson said there’s no way to know if the alleged perpetrators are part of a gang.

"It may have been alcohol-fueled road rage," Jackson said.

Jackson said anyone who is a victim of confrontational behavior should avoid doing or saying anything that will escalate it.

"Call 911 right away," he said. "Go to a safe, well-lit place and wait for police."

Jackson said any witnesses to the incident who are hesitant to call police directly can call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).

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