"There is a danger to the public."
This ominous sentence was tweeted by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office during a manhunt following a double shooting that took place in Conifer last night. One of three suspects is now in custody, but the other two remain at large. As for the victims, a father and son, they both sustained wounds described as not life-threatening.
The first JCSO tweet is time-stamped at 9:23 p.m. on Thursday, September 26. It notes that deputies were responding to the 11000 block of Blackfoot Road on a report of a victim with a gunshot wound. "Public asked to avoid area," it warned.
An update from 9:47 p.m. revealed the existence of a second victim. Both were transported to a local hospital.
By 10:20 p.m., between 200 and 300 residences had received notification of the incident via CodeRED, an emergency notification system, and instructed to shelter in place until further notice. Those unable to get home because they live too near the Blackfoot Road shooting site were told to go to the Conifer Safeway, at 27152 Main Street.
Just six minutes later, at 10:26 p.m., the sheriff's office revealed that three suspects were being sought and might be on foot — hence the warning about a danger to the public. Within the hour, numerous agencies were assisting in the search, including Colorado State Patrol Troop 1A, whose jurisdiction includes Jefferson County, the Arvada Police Department and the Elk Creek Fire Protection District.
At 11:49 p.m., authorities stated that the three suspects included "one white male, two black males" and reiterated that "residents in approximately a three-mile radius of the shooting scene have been instructed to shelter in place."
Twitter silence followed until 2:31 a.m. on September 27, when the JCSO divulged that the white male, a juvenile, was in custody. As for the two black male suspects, they were "still at large but not believed to be in Conifer anymore. Extra patrols will stay in area. Shelter in place being lifted. No suspect IDs available at this time. Will update when have new info."
Those details arrived at 11:29 a.m., when the sheriff's office first referred to the victims as a father and son and added, "Investigators are following up on several leads and do not believe this was random."
This post was updated to include a disclosure about the relationship between the two victims and the belief that the crime wasn't random in nature.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.