Denver police provide update on homicide near Denver Art Museum on Saturday

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KDVR (DENVER) – UPDATE: (7:26 p.m.): Denver police say the suspect is a private security guard with no affiliation with Antifa.

ORIGINAL: A shooting near Civic Center Park is being investigated as a homicide after a male was pronounced dead at the hospital on Saturday, according to Denver police.

Denver Police Division Chief of Investigations, Joe Montoya said at 3:37 p.m. officers in the area near Civic Center Park to monitor a rival-rally group protest radioed that shots had been fired.

When officers arrived at the scene between the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Public Library, a man was down on the ground suffering from a gunshot wound, Montoya said. Authorities gave aid until the victim was transported to the hospital but then pronounced deceased.

Two white, male suspects were taken into custody following the shooting. Montoya said only one remains in custody with suspected involvement in the homicide.

Two guns and mace were recovered from the scene, Montoya said. The shooting is believed to have stemmed from an argument between the two men but could not confirm if they were part of the protest groups.

A “Patriot Muster” rally for a far-right militia group and a “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” hosted by Denver Communists, Denver-Boulder Socialist Revolution and other groups, according to its Facebook page, took place at Civic Center Park.

Montoya said the incident occurred just after the protesters were breaking up and leaving the area.

UPDATE (4:46 p.m.): Denver police report the shooting near Civic Center Park is now being investigated as a homicide.

ORIGINAL: One person was shot in the courtyard by the Denver Art Museum on Saturday afternoon, Denver police say.

The victim was transported to the hospital. The condition of the victim is unknown. According to DPD, two suspects are in custody.

The shooting took place in the area of planned rival-rally group protests at Civic Center Park.

PREVIOUS: People gathered for competing rallies in downtown Denver on Saturday afternoon.

There are two events planned: a “Patriot Muster” rally for a far-right militia group and a “BLM-Antifa Soup Drive” that is being hosted by Denver Communists, Denver-Boulder Socialist Revolution and other groups, according to its Facebook page.

The latter event is scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m.; Patriot Muster is set for 2 p.m.

According to Westword, the soup drive rally was planned after the right-wing rally, and its timing is not a coincidence.

“We scheduled our action after learning that the militia-fascists had called a ‘patriot muster’ against the Black Lives Matter movement, anti-fascists and Marxists,” a spokesperson for Denver Communists told Westword. “That’s us — guilty as charged and happy to oblige with our presence.”

The Facebook page for the soup drive states the following, in part:

“The plan is to set up our tables and tents in Civic Center Park, as near as we can be to the fascists. We’ll have soup for our family, music, speakers, communist books, and plenty of angry anti-fascist chants.We’ll be distributing soup to the hungry and collecting dry kitchen staples. If COVID-19 and mass unemployment has you down, we wanna feed you! We will also be collecting tarps, tents, sleeping bags, gallons of water, and socks for unhoused neighbors!”

John “Tig” Tiegen is organizing Patriot Muster.

He has organized rallies downtown before. In May, he rallied hundreds of motorcyclists to swarm the Colorado Capitol to protest Gov. Jared Polis’ orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

“We shouldn’t be waiting for the government to tell us, ‘OK, now it’s safe,” Tiegen said in May. “We should be able to decide when it’s safe for us.”

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