- Jan 31:
- Biker brawl at National Western Complex: 1 killed, 7 others hospitalized
- Jan 30:
- Denver cancels second day of motorcycle expo after shooting kills one
A lawyer for the Iron Order Motorcycle Club said Sunday the shootout that left one person dead and seven hospitalized may have started when three members were jumped by members of one or more biker gangs.
John C. Whitfield, the lawyer who is also a club member, said Iron Order members include police officers, military members, and other law abiding citizens.
Vince Bohm, who identified himself as a member of the Mongols Motorcycle Club, said that an off-duty police officer fatally shot a Mongol.
Whitfield did not witness Saturday's brawl at the 38th annual Colorado Motorcycle Expo, but said he heard the story from other Iron Order club members.
A large number of the Mongols, a biker gang whose website advises that they are "the baddest motorcycle club known worldwide," were at the expo. Members of other outlaw motorcycle gangs including the Banditos, Hells Angels and Sons of Silence also were there.
Only about 15 members of the Iron Order were attending the event when three of them got separated from the group and were jumped by members of the Mongols, and possibly others, he said. "Once that happened, there was an opportunity to jump them, and they were sorely outnumbered," Whitfield said.
"At least two or three of our guys sustained injuries. One of our guys may have been shot, one of our guys may have been stabbed and another beaten up."
Whitfield, who is flying to Denver Sunday to help handle the matter, said he didn't know if any of the Iron Order members who were injured or who attended the event were police officers.
"I believe one of our guys that was jumped may have been an African American. That is not looked on with high regard in some" other clubs, he said.
Bohm, a former "patched" member of the Mongols, said he arrived at the show just after the shooting as a large group of Banditos were streaming out of the Expo.
The primary combatants were members of a cop club and the Mongols, but it was an off-duty cop who fatally shot the Mongol, he said.
He said he is concerned that any investigation will not result in charges against a police officer, even though shooting a gun at a crowded show with kids is very dangerous.
"If a cop shoots him they'll find some way to get him off," Bohm said Sunday.
Detectives continue to interview witnesses Sunday, Raquel Lopez, Denver police spokeswoman said.
"As of right now there are no arrests," Lopez said. "They are still trying to figure it out."
Lopez said she does not which gang the person died Saturday is affiliated with.
And that isn't a detail that Chief Robert White is going to release at this point, she said.
Detectives have not been able to question some of the key witnesses, including those who were shot or stabbed, because they are still undergoing treatment.
"There is a lot of information that is still not known," Lopez said.
Lopez said she cannot comment on whether guns used in an exchange of gunfire have been obtained. That information is part of the investigation and will not be revealed, she said.
The Denver Coroner's Office will release the identity of the dead man, she said.
The injured were taken to Denver Health Medical Center, and the hospital put on lockdown for a few hours Saturday afternoon.
The lockdown has since been lifted, and the hospital is in normal operations, though officers are still on the scene to prevent further trouble.
The seven people injured Saturday remained hospitalized Sunday. Three are listed in critical condition and four are listed in stable condition.
Denver officials canceled the expo's Sunday session at the National Western Stock Show Complex.
On Sunday, the expo's organizer posted a short message apologizing to vendors and patrons for the inconvenience.