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4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?

Update: At this time yesterday morning, we followed up on our coverage of the shooting at Saturday's 4/20 celebration by sharing the image seen here of a man the Denver Police Department identified as a suspect. The headline on the post (see our original coverage below) asked the question, "Do you recognize him?"

He certainly did and subsequently reached out to the police. But he was neither arrested nor charged, putting the investigation back to something like square one. Details below.

Yesterday afternoon, the DPD tweeted the following:

This information seemed to portend a major break in the inquiry into an incident that took place just past 5 p.m. on Saturday, approximately forty minutes after the moment when thousands of people in Civic Center Park lit up simultaneously.

William Breathes's photo of the 4:20 p.m. ignition on Saturday.
William Breathes's photo of the 4:20 p.m. ignition on Saturday.

Hip-hop artist Lil' Flip was performing in advance of closing remarks from marijuana activist Timothy Tipton when multiple shots rang out. Two people were hit in the leg, a third was grazed and the crowd scattered, nearly trampling organizer Miguel Lopez in the process. But the gunman got away, and the schedule of events for Sunday was canceled to honor those wounded, Lopez says.

Police believed the person of interest had helped the shooter; his likeness was captured on a YouTube video showing 4/20 attendees fleeing. Here's a screen capture from which the image above was excised:

4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?

After the DPD put out the word about the man, he reportedly volunteered to be interviewed by police. Then, about five hours after the original tweet, the DPD sent out a new message:

The man is said to have provided investigators with some information, but it's unclear at this writing if what he disclosed simply exonerated him, or if it pointed the cops in a new direction. Either way, the 4/20 shooter remains at large.

Here's a 9News report about the development, followed by our previous coverage.

Continue for our previous coverage of the search for the 4/20 shooter.

Original post, 5:57 a.m. April 22: The shooting at Saturday's 4/20 celebration put a damper on an event that was seen by organizers as a way to make Denver the center of marijuana reform nationwide.

At this writing, the Denver Police Department still has no one in custody for the crime. However, the department has identified what reps refer to as a "possible suspect" in the case -- one captured on a video we shared in our initial post about the shooting yesterday. Get details and see the clip below.

As we've reported, shots rang out at around 5 p.m. on Saturday, just over forty minutes after the 4:20 p.m. moment when thousands of revelers lit up at Civic Center Park, across the street from the Colorado State Capitol. Hip-hop artist Lil' Flip was performing at the time.

The scene at Civic Center Park after the shooting; see more photos below.
The scene at Civic Center Park after the shooting; see more photos below.
Photo by Brandon Marshall

Activist Timothy Tipton, who was about to deliver the closing address of the day, thought twelve to fourteen shots were fired, while Westword editor Patricia Calhoun, who was also nearby, estimated the number at around half a dozen.

The injuries? Two people were shot in the leg, while a third was grazed by a bullet.

As for the person suspected of pulling the trigger, the DPD has not found an image of him yet. But late yesterday afternoon, the department issued a release with a YouTube video that's thought to be key to the investigation. Here's a screen capture of the key image....

4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?

...and here's a close-up on the person to whom investigators would like to speak:

Police believe the man, seen wearing a brown-and-white checkered shirt, is thought to have assisted the actual gunman, described as a man wearing a blue hat, a gray sweatshirt and black pants.

If you have info about either individual, you're encouraged to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered in the case.

In the meantime, the DPD has not yet confirmed that the shooting was gang-related -- but the case has reportedly been handed over to the gang unit.

Here's the video. The image in question comes at about the six second mark:

Continue for our original coverage of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park, including photos and videos.

Update below: For months, anticipation has built toward this year's 4/20 Rally at Civic Center Park, touted as a mix of pot, hip hop and serious politics to be witnessed by locals and visitors from all over the country.

Yet the positive nature of the event was countered by a shooting after the clock struck 4:20 in which three people were injured.

Details, photos and a videos from a variety of sources below.

The basics: Just after 5 p.m., shots rang out in the park during a performance by hip-hop act Lil' Flip, causing the enormous crowd, estimated in the tens of thousands, to scatter. In the end, three people were wounded: Two were hit in the leg, while a third person was grazed by a bullet.

Click for the complete "Shots Fired at 4/20 in Civic Center" slide show.
Click for the complete "Shots Fired at 4/20 in Civic Center" slide show.
Photo by Brandon Marshall

Marijuana activist Timothy Tipton, who was scheduled to deliver the closing speech for day one of the rally at around 5:25 p.m., shared some observations via e-mail. He notes that he was preparing for his remarks when he heard a "rapid-fire burst of about twelve to fourteen shots" from "just over the wall, in front of the library."

The gunfire caused the audience to run forward, knocking over two rows of security fencing as he took refuge behind a speaker column and yelled for calm and respect, h;e continues.

Afterward, he observed the emptied area "strewn with clothes, belongings, shoes, T-shirts and heard reports about gang members flashing signs before the shooting and attendees with post-traumatic stress disorder suffering attacks. The irony struck him hard, since only moments earlier, marijuana attorney Rob Corry had been "singing his praises as evidence of a PEACEFUL EVENT!"

At this writing, no arrests have been made. Here's the description of possible suspects shared on the Denver Police Twitter account:

There's still a full slate of 4/20 events at Civic Center Park, and Tipton offers hope that today "will be a Better Day!," as well as best wishes for the injured parties, all of whom are expected to recover.

Correction: After publishing this post, we learned that organizers of the 4/20 rally have canceled today's slate of events.

Look below to see photos of the shooting aftermath by our Brandon Marshall (click to see the complete "Shots Fired at 4/20 in Civic Center" slide show), as well as a slew of videos:

4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall

Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park.

4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall
4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall
4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall

Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park.

4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall
4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall
4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall

Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park.

The scene at Civic Center Park after the shooting; see more photos below.
The scene at Civic Center Park after the shooting; see more photos below.
Photo by Brandon Marshall
4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall
4/20 shooting suspect interviewed, released: Investigation back to square one?
Photo by Brandon Marshall

Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park.

More from our Marijuana archive: "Denver 4/20 Rally schedule: Pot, hip-hop and serious politics."


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