DENVER (KDVR) — According to his former employer, the accused gunman in Monday’s crime spree was once fired for pulling a gun on three of his coworkers.
The owner of Local Products of Colorado dispensary said the man who police say shot and killed five people in Denver-Lakewood was employed as a grower in 2011. Rudy Perez called the man a “good employee” but says he was let go after less than a year because of the incident with the gun.
“He was a very interesting character,” said Perez, who worked at Local Products at the same time as the accused shooter, said. “Everything he did was just kind of different. Even on his part of the grow, he would do graffiti on the walls of grenades and guns.”
“He was a strange guy. I would describe him as like a military wannabe,” another coworker, who asked to remain anonymous, said.
“When I read the name [this week], it hit me that it was the same guy that pulled out a weapon and threatened me and my cousin way back in the day,” the coworker said.
According to the two coworkers and the shop’s owner, the incident started as an argument over work.
“He tried grabbing me and we got into a tussle and I threw him down, and when I threw him down he started patting himself. He was wearing cargo shorts that day, and he reached to his right pocket and he pulled out a 380 with a laser on it,” Perez said.
He described the employees as standing in a circle while the shooter pointed a gun at them all.
“Eventually, he got scared. He was shaking his gun and he turned away and ran out of the building,” Perez said.
According to the shop’s owner, the man was let go and a protection order was put in place.
Perez and the other coworker say they pressed charges, too. However, they said the charges were dropped because of a missed court date.
Denver Police say they do not have a record of the case.
“This all could have been prevented,” Perez said.
He believes more should have been done to prosecute and punish the suspect in 2011.
“Yeah, you can’t help but think that. Like, I wonder what would have happened or if that would have prevented him from owning weapons. Who knows,” the coworker said.
“I was thinking to myself like, oh this guy is obviously unstable, but I didn’t realize he was that unstable and it’s a shame that people had to die, cops had to be shot at, and this all could have been prevented,” Perez said.