Joshua Rodriguez, who had tweeted updates and also posted a video of who he said was the man shot, told Heavy that he personally witnessed the incident. He said that he was walking home when he heard a gunshot and ran to help the man who was bleeding.
Rodriguez said he did his best to reduce the bleeding and bystanders later told him that the man bleeding on the ground had been attacking people with a machete when he was shot.
Denver Police Have Offered Few Details About the Incident
At around June 4, 11 p.m., Denver Police announced on Twitter that they were on the scene of a potential shooting near Broadway & West Colfax Avenue and announced that someone was transported for medical treatment.
#Alert #DPD Officers are on-scene in the area of Colfax and Broadway in response to a shooting. At present one person has been transported for medical treatment. There is no available suspect information at this time. Information will be provided as available. #Denver. pic.twitter.com/9pY7rBbxeW
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) June 5, 2020
Denver Police provided an update roughly 30 minutes later stating that two people they believe were potentially related to the seen showed up at a nearby hospital as “walk-ins,” with one receiving treatment for a gunshot wound and another needing treatment for a stab wound.
#DPD UPDATE: Two parties, possibly related to the scene @ Broadway/Colfax, have presented as “Walk-Ins” at hospital. One persons is being treated for GSW. One person is being treated for stab wound(s). #Denver
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) June 5, 2020
According to what Officer R. Saunders told the Denver Post, the shooting did not appear to be related to the protests.
The protests in Denver are part of a nationwide reaction to the death of George Floyd, an African American man who died in police custody after then-Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin kneeling on Floyd’s neck for several minutes. Although all four officers on the scene — Chauvin, Tou Thao, Thomas Lane and J. Alexander Kueng — have since been fired and charged with second-degree murder, the video and circumstances of his death have reinvigorated calls for police reform and racial equity.
Denver police have not yet released a statement on the incident via Facebook or its website. Heavy has reached out to Denver police. The story will be updated with more information as it becomes available.
Witness Described the Incident As ‘Traumatizing’
(Please be aware the video shows some disturbing images):
— Joshua Rodriguez (@Joshuajered) June 5, 2020
The incident apparently took place at around 9:45 p.m. at a protest in Colorado, according to Joshua Rodriguez, who describes himself as the director of One Arvada, a non-profit that serves at-risk youth. He also works with Joseph Camp, a content contributor and the owner of the independent media company ”Feeling Cute Newz.”
Rodriguez posted a video of someone lying on the ground and ensuing chaos on Twitter as a woman can be heard pleading for someone to “call an ambulance.” An authoritative voice can also be heard, stating “He has a critical wound to the neck, he needs help immediately.”
According to Rodriguez, “The man shot, reportedly pulled out a hatchet and attacked three people in Denver. A near by citizen pulled out a gun and shot the man in the neck.”
Heavy reached out to Rodriguez for more details and here’s what he said:
I was walking home around 9:44 I heard a gun shot. I turned around and the guy was literally right there. I ripped my shirt off and started putting pressure. Others joined and brought a blanket. I stepped back because I had blood on my hands and started filming.
I talk to bystanders, this guy was selling dope during the day, at some point, he pulled out a hatchet and started attacking people injuring three people, a guy pulled out a gun and shot him twice, once in the neck.
Rodriguez said he didn’t see the machete and was unsure about the medical status of those involved. However, he described the event as “definitely traumatizing.”
The Shooting Comes On the Heels of A Hatchet-Related Incident That Took Place Days Ago In Colorado
A 33-year-old man, Nicholas Fowler, was arrested in Boulder and accused of confronting protesters with a hatchet, approaching them and saying he was “trying to solve a riot and problems by stating, ‘All lives matter,'” the Colorado Daily reported. Police arrested him, accusing him of felony menacing criminal mischief, disorderly conduct, inciting a riot and possessing a container of alcohol.
A police report states that Fowler was drinking whiskey and agitating protesters when they told him to leave, the Colorado Daily reported. According to what Longmont Police Sgt. Jason Malterud told the Longmont Times-Call, Fowler approached protesters twice and the second time, took a hatchet out of his waistband, and brandished it, resulting in protesters scattering. Fowler then started cutting down trees and a city sign, before he then threw the hatchet down.
Fowler was released on a $5,000 bond; he also had two open criminal cases in Denver, where he was accused of assaulting a peace officer and criminal mischief, according to the Colorado Daily.