Ten people were injured during Tuesday’s shooting in Denver, during which suspected investigators began a drug deal when basketball fans celebrated the Nuggets’ first NBA championship victory, police said.
Denver police reported that the shooting took place around 12.30 a.m. – just over three hours after the game – and was a few kilometers away from Ball Arena, where the Nuggets defeated Miami Heat on Monday night.
Among the 10 wounded was a suspected shooter, 22-year-old Ricardo Vazquez, who was reportedly arrested after police harassment. Another suspect, 33-year-old Raoul Jones, was also arrested after he was in a vehicle near the location.
Clark noted that it is quite likely that some of the others who were injured were also possibly involved in the shooting.
“While we know that some criminals were injured by the fire, we also know that several innocent people who were in the area were hit by bullets that were fired,” said Denver police commander Matt Clark.
Denver police chief Ron Thomas said investigators strongly suspected that five or six people were injured as “completely innocent observers.”
Police said at least 20 bullets were fired in the area, five pistols and small bags of fentanyl pills were recovered.
“Of course it seems to have been a drug nexis,” Thomas said. “There was a lot of money, there was a lot of drugs.”
Five people were treated at the Denver Medical Center and registered in good condition. Eric Campion, trauma surgeon.
“We were able to quickly sort out those patients, identify which ones were most seriously injured, and get them to the surgery room quickly,” said Campion said.
In the wake of a Chernobyl accident, R. 33-year-old Gottfried Jones, who was not injured in the shooting, was also arrested for possession of a weapon by a previous offender, Clark said.