Witness Videos, Body Cam Footage Shows What Happened In LoDo
9NEWS also learned new information about the work history of two officers who were at the scene of the shooting early Sunday morning.
DENVER — Denver police have yet to release body camera video of Sunday’s shooting in LoDo, when three officers struck six bystanders with their gunshots as they fired at an armed suspect as the crowd left the bars.
The department said it would release the body camera video once the investigation is complete and turned over to the district attorney.
9NEWS pieced together what happened based on the few photos shared by the police and the videos of the witnesses.
Police say it took less than five seconds and it all happened half a block from Larimer Street near 20th Street. After seeing a fight outside a bar, police say, officers approached the suspect, 21-year-old Jordan Waddy.
“The uniformed officers contacted the subject on the street, giving him a verbal order to stop,” DPD Major Crimes Commander Matt Clark said Wednesday.
Clark posted a body camera image of Waddy standing between two cars. He said Waddy went back to the sidewalk and pulled out a gun on the other side of an SUV. DPD says a photo shows him pointing the gun at two officers, who then fired at him from the street.
RELATED: 6 bystanders injured when Denver officers shot gunman in LoDo
“The officers were pretty clear that they had a clear shot and the backdrop was the brick pillar or the interior of the brewery, which had been cleaned out,” Clark said.
A third officer had a view of Waddy with the crowd behind him. He fired once, police said, while being careful to aim at Waddy.
Witness footage shows a woman bleeding on the sidewalk, on the other side of Waddy from the third officer who fired.
Clark said investigators recovered Waddy’s gun from the scene. You can barely see it in a witness video.
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DPD still does not say whether the officers’ bullets hit the six bystanders, but two victims say they were shot and photos show what appear to be gunshot wounds.
Clark said the rounds may have ricocheted and at least one round hit the fence in front of the brewery.
An affidavit of Waddy’s arrest reveals the names of five officers who were at the scene. Police have not confirmed which of these officers fired.
The affidavit shows Constable Kenneth Rowland was the first to notice the suspect had a gun.
According to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office, Rowland worked at the Thornton Police Department before moving to the DPD.
Rowland was involved in the arrest of a suspected drug dealer in March 2017. The man later died in a fight with officers. Rowland, four other Thornton police officers and two Federal Heights police officers attempted to take the man into custody, when, District Attorney Dave Young said, a Federal Heights officer deployed his taser. The man said he couldn’t breathe at one point during the fight and he stopped breathing, according to Young.
Young did not press charges against any of the officers involved in the incident after the medical examination revealed “significant factors other than restraint” that contributed to the suspect’s death. The coroner determined that the case of death was methamphetamine-induced excited delirium.
According to Young’s decision letter, interviews with Thornton PD officers did not occur during the early stages of the investigation, while the two Federal Heights officers granted interviews within hours. The letter says lawyers for the officers initially advised them to decline to make a statement.
Thornton PD launched an internal investigation related to this incident and ultimately officers made themselves available for interviews.
There are no sustained complaints against Rowland’s record with DPD.
The affidavit shows that Officer James Cambria stood next to Rowland before the shooting and told officers he was in fear for his life.
City records show an internal complaint was filed against Cambria less than a year after the Denver Police Department hired him in 2020.
A disciplinary action report says he was fined two working days in December 2020 for failing to conduct a ‘thorough, reasonable and proper search’ during an arrest before the suspect was taken away at Denver’s downtown jail. The report says a deputy found a folding knife in the suspect’s belt during a pre-admission search.
City records show that all officers were up to date with their firearms training.
The councilor responds
General Counsel Robin Kniech, chair of the Denver City Council’s Safety, Housing and Homelessness Committee, released a statement Thursday about the shooting.
“While I understand the need and the time required for a thorough investigation, I must also acknowledge the shaken confidence of our community,” the statement read in part. “I’m concerned that our city’s calls to wait patiently for an investigation may be seen to conflict with statements by the DPD defending the officers’ actions long before those investigations are complete, and the full body of evidence is released. Our priority as the city must be an objective investigation and accountability to our community.”
In the statement, Kniech said investigations into the shooting will be conducted not only by DPD, but also by the city’s Office of the Independent Observer.
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