Aurora police were busy overnight handling a string of fights at the Red Lion Hotel that ended with the shooting of an armed man by officers.
Two off-duty officers working a New Years Eve party at the hotel on South Parker Road requested back-up from Aurora police for assistance handling unruly guests just before midnight, police spokeswoman Sgt. Cassidee Carlson said.
As the fights escalated, police called for all available patrol cars -- at least 75 officers -- to help clear out the crowd of roughly 750 partygoers.
Police from Denver and other jurisdictions were called in to help cover Aurora 911 calls while local officers worked to get the hotel under control. At least four people were arrested.
Carlson said there were reports of shots fired in the lobby shortly before 1 a.m.
It was just a chaotic scene, Carlson said. "There were fights breaking out in front of officers. Just a rowdy group of people who didn't have any respect for the fact that officers were on scene."
Officers found blood, but no signs of a shooting. Police believe the incident was an assault, not a shooting. Both the victim and suspect ran from the hotel.
By about 1:15 a.m. many of the party guests who were not staying at the hotel had left and the scene calmed down.
Carlson said officers dealt with additional fights in some of the guest rooms. Just after 2:30 a.m., police were responding to a reported incident on the eighth floor when they heard gunshots. On their way up the stairs, officers encountered an armed man. Officers fired shots and the suspect was struck. He was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
One man who heard the gunshots, said he was forced to espace to his room.
"What else is there to do if they're shooting," said Branden Truesdale. "I definitely wasn't going to be in the middle of it."
Police found additional evidence on the eighth floor suggesting that there had been a shooting, Carlson said. She said no additional victims had been found.
Aurora police asked that anyone with additional information on the events at Red Lion Hotel call Detective Matt Ingui at 303-739-6067.
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