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Video: Jeffco couple's trip to Denver ends in SUV shooting by possible "gang-bangers"

Yesterday, we noted that a stabbing on the 16th Street Mall over the weekend is the sort of crime hated by civic groups, since it gives the impression that one of Denver's top tourist attractions isn't safe.

The same can be said of an incident involving a Jefferson County couple who visited Denver for an evening -- and barely escaped with their lives after their SUV was riddled with gunfire.

Details, photos and a video below.

The story comes to us courtesy of 7News, which spoke to the male half of the twosome. He asked to remain anonymous.

This past Saturday night, according to the man, he and his wife had dinner at The Tavern in Lower Downtown....

Video: Jeffco couple's trip to Denver ends in SUV shooting by possible "gang-bangers"

...and then headed to the 13th Floor Haunted House on Brighton Boulevard.

Video: Jeffco couple's trip to Denver ends in SUV shooting by possible "gang-bangers"

After enjoying an entertaining evening, the pair headed home at around 1 a.m. Sunday. But as they were near the intersection of 20th and Market en route to I-25, the man says two cars pulled up alongside their SUV and blocked the turn lane leading to the on-ramp that would start them on their ride home.

The occupants of both cars were reportedly leaning out their windows and yelling profanities at the couple, for reasons neither could comprehend. The man says he reacted by telling them to "buzz off," but they didn't take his advice -- so he first slammed on the brakes, then floored the SUV when the other two vehicles stopped, all in an effort to hit the highway.

In response, person or persons unknown opened fire, blowing out multiple windows of the SUV....

Video: Jeffco couple's trip to Denver ends in SUV shooting by possible "gang-bangers"

...and piercing it with multiple bullet holes:

Video: Jeffco couple's trip to Denver ends in SUV shooting by possible "gang-bangers"

The 7News story offers no descriptions of the other cars involved in the confrontation or the people inside them beyond the man's speculation that they may have been "gang bangers." That leaves Denver police investigators with little info with which to work, but spokesman Sonny Jackson says HALO camera surveillance footage is being examined with an eye toward figuring out who was involved. He encourages anyone with information about the incident to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).

Until then, you can bet people promoting Denver as a fun and safe place to visit hope incidents like this one and the 16th Street Mall stabbing prove to be isolated rather than a trend.

Here's the 7News report, followed by an interactive graphic of the area near where the crime took place. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."


View Larger Map

More from our Mile High Murder archive circa August 2011: "David Hubbard killed in drive-by shooting from gray sedan near 33rd and Grape (14)."