LoDo Triple Shooting Site at 15th and Market Scene of Past Tragedies

The scene of the 15th and Market triple shooting after daybreak on September 16.
The scene of the 15th and Market triple shooting after daybreak on September 16. @EvanKruegel
Early Sunday, September 16, two men and one woman were shot near 15th and Market streets, a lower downtown location that came as no surprise to one person on Twitter.

"I was with an off-duty officer listening to this when it came out," the correspondent wrote. "I guessed the location, 15th and Market. Pretty sad when one can guess where a shooting is."

True enough. For years, a parking lot at 18th and Market was widely considered the most dangerous spot in LoDo because of its proximity to clubs and the frequency of fights following let-out. But 15th and Market has seen more than its share of violence, too, including multiple high-profile shootings and a sexual assault.

The first official communication about the latest incident came by way of a Denver Police Department tweet sent out at 3:06 a.m. on the 16th, just over half an hour after the shooting is thought to have taken place.

An update at 7:21 a.m. that morning reads: "15th/Market Shooting 2 adult males and 1 adult female were shot & transported are all in critical condition 2 with non-life threatening injuries. Investigation is still on-going."

click to enlarge Cell phone video shot by a KDVR editor shortly after news of the shooting broke. - FOX31
Cell phone video shot by a KDVR editor shortly after news of the shooting broke.
Indeed, as a result of that inquiry, Market Street was closed until about 1:20 p.m. on September 16.

Evidence markers were scattered along the sidewalk bordering a property occupied by PF Chang's, a restaurant that closes at 11 p.m. on Saturday nights. Near them was a food truck.

There was plenty of gunfire. A witness reportedly referenced as many as thirty shots, which suggests automatic weapons, multiple shooters or both.

Police have not yet offered a theory about whether the victims were coming from a nightclub or bar when the shooting took place, though that was often the case in previous crimes near this intersection.

Westword's archives detail many other incidents over the past fifteen years. Here are four examples:

click to enlarge Evidence markets on the scene the morning after the shooting. - FOX31
Evidence markets on the scene the morning after the shooting.
• "Walk This Way," a February 2003 item about safety on the 16th Street Mall, refers to "the lamppost at 15th and Market streets, where until recently a makeshift shrine marked the spot where 26-year-old Michael Garth was shot to death on December 31."

• A June 2008 piece published in advance of the Democratic National Convention notes that "in December 2007, Anthony Chavez was arrested in Mexico for shootings the previous month in front of Hush, a nightclub at 15th and Market."

• Buckley airman Shaquille Hargrove was fatally shot after a street fight broke out near 15th and Market in July 2013.

• In July 2015, a pedicab driver was arrested for sexually assaulting a drunk passenger near 15th and Market the previous year.

These are hardly the only violent crimes to have taken place near this intersection. Note the February 2017 shooting that killed Clarence Thomas, 33. And Thomas Busch was taken into custody near 15th and Market following a bizarre tractor chase through downtown in July.

No wonder the person on Twitter predicted that the latest shooting happened near 15th and Market.

The story took another twist around noon on September 17, when the DPD announced an arrest in the case: Armando Durete, 35. He is currently being held on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder with extreme indifference and first-degree assault. Thus far, his booking photo and the probable cause statement have not been released because witness interviews are ongoing.

Anyone with information about the incident is encouraged to contact the Denver Police Department at 720-913-2000 or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).

Editor's note: This post has been updated to reflect information about the arrest of Armando Durete.
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.
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