Two men are in critical condition after a dispute escalated into a shooting in downtown Denver early Sunday morning.
The fight began outside the Auraria Student Lofts, in the area of 14th and Curtis Street. A private security officer tried to break up the fight with a "chemical agent" but was unable to, Denver Police Department Commander Ron Saunier said.
An off-duty DPD officer who was outside the Epernay Lounge just across the street was reportedly called by the security guard to try and help break-up the fight. As the fight came to an end, two men from one of the groups returned to the area and one of them pulled out a gun and began firing in the direction of the crowd.
The off-duty officer, who has not been identified, then told the gunman to drop the weapon and get on the ground, but the shooter did not comply. The off-duty officer then pulled out his gun and began firing back. The security guard did the same, according to Saunier.
Both men, believed to be brothers, were hit and were taken to a hospital with gunshot wounds. They are expected to survive, Saunier said.
A Metro Denver student who lives at the Auraria Student Lofts told Denver7 he heard shots at about 1:05 a.m. and took the following video.
Shots fired in downtown Denver pic.twitter.com/XlyaHIG1tD
— sam vemuri (@saisamyukth) July 10, 2016
The suspect who fired the handgun will be charged with first-degree aggravated assault, criminal attempt and possibly attempted homicide. He was described as being 40-years-old.
The off-duty DPD officer, a 16-year veteran with the force, was placed on administrative leave per police protocol, Saunier said.
No more arrests are expected in this shooting but police are still looking for witnesses to speak with about the incident.