Crime

Denver Skatepark Murder: New Video of Shocking Attack

A photo of the late Juan-Herrera Lozano and a suspect vehicle in his April 23 fatal shooting, as shared by the Denver Police Department.
A photo of the late Juan-Herrera Lozano and a suspect vehicle in his April 23 fatal shooting, as shared by the Denver Police Department. Denver Police Department
The Denver Police Department has provided additional information about an April 23 fatal shooting on the 2200 block of 19th Street — the latest act of violence committed in the Union Station area, which has been a major focus of enforcement since late last year.

The DPD has identified the victim as sixteen-year-old Juan Herrera-Lozano, and released surveillance video of a vehicle in which the person who's believed to have shot him was riding. The department also confirmed that Lozano died steps away from the popular Denver Skatepark, located at 2205 19th Street.

Word of the latest shooting was first shared by the DPD via a Twitter alert at 7:02 p.m. on Saturday, April 23: "DPD is investigating a shooting in the 2200 BLK 19th St. 1 adult male victim located and pronounced deceased. 2200 BLK 19th St shut down at this time, alternative routes advised."

Late on April 25, the DPD shared more details: Herrera-Lozano is believed to have been shot at approximately 6:15 p.m. on April 23, and video reveals that he was at the Denver Skatepark when a car pulled up on the adjacent street. In the clip, Herrera-Lozano can be seen walking toward the vehicle and interacting with an unknown number of occupants, one of whom fired the bullet that killed him. After the shot, Herrera-Lozano staggers away from the car before collapsing in the roadway. Seconds later, the car speeds away.

Here's the video:
The Denver Skatepark has been a legendary spot for two decades. The first part of the park's construction, funded by the city, got underway in 2001, with a second phase slated for 2003 — but the project became known to skateboarders nationwide even before its completion, thanks to Tony Hawk's Gigantic Skatepark Tour, which aired on ESPN. In a 2002 episode, Hawk, Bob Burnquist and Bam Margera visited the nascent park.

In the years that followed, the Denver Skatepark became a magnet for young skaters — but on occasion, it wound up in the media spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Back in April 2010, for example, Westword
reported on an incident during which a man was severely beaten by a group of teens at the facility.  That post also included this account of gunplay at the park, shared online in 2009:

"One of the regulars was getting his stuff stolen, and as the thieves were driving off, he got some revenge by smashing in one of the rear passenger windows with his board (probably hitting the guy in that seat with his trucks). I expected them to stop the car and get out and fight, but instead the guy leans out the smashed window and fires 6 shots from his 9mm. Meanwhile I'm following the car hoping to see a brawl between the locals and the thugs (skaters outnumbered them about 50-4). So I had to hit the deck because of gunfire at a public skatepark."

And it happened again this past weekend — but with infinitely more tragic results.

Anyone with information about the shooting can contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts

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