Activism

Protester Shot, Killed at Dueling Demonstrations in Civic Center Park

Protester Shot, Killed at Dueling Demonstrations in Civic Center Park (2)
Noah Kaplan
The dueling protests at Civic Center Park — the so-called "Patriot Muster" and the BLM/Antifa Soup Drive scheduled as a counter-protest — were winding down at about 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, October 10, when a shot rang out by the Denver Art Museum.

One protester went down, and Denver Police Department officers, who'd kept the two demonstrations apart, quickly arrested a suspect.

"I was walking towards the area, heard a gunshot, came up about two seconds later, and there was a guy on the ground who got shot in the chest, he was coughing up blood and his face was covered in it," says Madeline Kelly. "The person who did it was immediately in handcuffs."
click to enlarge NOAH KAPLAN
Noah Kaplan

According to 9News, that person was a private security guard hired by the station to provide protection for staffers covering the events; he is being held by the DPD. A 9News producer had been taken into custody, but has been released.

Shortly after the shooting, Linda Sneed, who had no affiliation with either protest, moved into the tense space between the shouting protesters and the police.
click to enlarge Linda Sneed talked to the crowd shortly after the shooting. - NOAH KAPLAN
Linda Sneed talked to the crowd shortly after the shooting.
Noah Kaplan
“This is grandma. Grandma loves all of you,” Sneed told the crowd of demonstrators moments after the fatal shooting.

“I am very concerned about my young generation, my young people,” she said, explaining why she'd stepped in. “They feel like they haven’t been heard. Everybody is angry, but it needs to come to an end, because these people are radicalizing each other. What they really need to know is that they are important, and that how they view the world matters. I wanted to tell them that.”

“We need to heal our nation. We have to care about one another...even when we disagree," Sneed added. "What is going to happen to our nation if we take up arms against each other?”
click to enlarge Linda Sneed talks to the crowd. - NOAH KAPLAN
Linda Sneed talks to the crowd.
Noah Kaplan
The DPD held a press conference at 6 p.m. on October 10, before the alleged shooter had been identified but reporting that he was in custody. Later, the department tweeted this: "Further investigation has determined the suspect is a private security guard with no affiliation with Antifa."

See our slideshow here, and watch for updates.
KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Noah Kaplan is a creative nonfiction writer and educator in Denver. He is also the co-founder and artistic director of Stain'd Arts. Find him at [email protected] or on Instagram @kno_kaps.
Contact: Noah Kaplan