Like so many others, my friends and I wanted to take advantage of the extra hour of drinking Saturday night (and into Sunday morning) after the clocks turned back. A close friend was moving out of the country, and we headed to LoDo so that we could send him off with a bang – but as it turned out, the bang was provided by gunshots fired right down the street.
We’d been partying at Le Rouge at 15th and Market, and when the bouncer started pressing us to leave after last call, I went outside to wait for the last of my friends. I was looking toward Larimer Street when a cloud of mace or pepper spray blew my way. Though I can’t be sure what had happened over there, on previous occasions I’ve seen an off-duty officer at a 15th Street club wielding a can of pepper spray the size of a bottle of Raid, so I’m guessing he unloaded it on someone.
While I was still waiting for my friends, I heard some dudes speaking Spanish. They were chilangos, people from Mexico City, and we got to chatting. They told me that they’d left their hometown as much to escape the danger back home as to arrive in the land of opportunity. “In Mexico, you never know, you could be out at a club, have a great night, be walking home, and then get killed for your wallet,” one new friend told me.
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A minute after he uttered that, we heard the “bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang, bang,” of a gun. A friend later swore he heard an eighth shot, but I only counted seven. I didn’t see anyone go down, but that friend saw four people drop where the shots were fired over at 15th and Blake, about a block and a half away from where we were standing.
My drunk-reporter ass was half-tempted to go over and check out the scene after the last of the shots rang out. But another friend – one with no news sense but a lot of common sense – instead urged, “Let’s get the fuck out of here.”
We double-backed through the still-lingering cloud of pepper spray. The scene was pandemonium. As police and security guards flooded the scene, they crept through the alleys with flashlights, looking for anything out of the ordinary.
While some people who’d never heard gunshots before cowered in corners, plenty of drinkers jumped in their cars and drove off, figuring that for once, the cops had bigger fish to fry. – Luke Turf