During the early hours of September 28, just twelve days after a triple shooting at 15th and Market streets in lower downtown, a similar incident took place just down the block, near the intersection of 14th and Market Street.
While all three victims survived the previous gun play, the latest attack has already cost one life, with a second hanging in the balance.
The first official announcement of what took place this morning came by way of the Denver Police Department Twitter account. A message sent at 2:57 a.m. reads: "Alert: Shooting in 1400 block of Market St. with two victims — 1 deceased, 1 in critical condition. Homicide investigation underway. No arrest(s) at this time. Market St. is closed between 14th St./15th St.; 15th St. closed at Larimer St."
A second DPD tweet, labeled "Update," arrived at 5:15 a.m.: "The 2 shooting victims from the incident just before 2 a.m. in the 1400 block of Market are both adult males. This remains an active investigation, and there are no further updates to share at this time."
Denver police have not yet linked the victims of the shooting to any nightclub in the vicinity, but there are many restaurants and bars in the area, as Westword's Jon Solomon pointed out in his January 2018 post "Dizzying Changes on the 1400 Block of Market Street." Among the venues mentioned are Lit, the Purple Martini, Rhein Haus and the Celtic Tavern. While a lot of the late-night action has moved to RiNo, LoDo is still a very busy area early in the morning.
In past years, a number of LoDo shootings have been associated with "let-out," when clubs close and patrons spill into the night.
The details of the Market Street shooting earlier this month are detailed in the arrest report for Nickie Rico, who has been charged in the incident along with his brother, Armando Durete.
At around 3 a.m. on September 16, according to the document, a DPD detective began investigating the shooting, which had taken place around half an hour earlier and involved injuries to three people — one woman and two men, including Rico, who'd been hit in the left hand and shoulder.
Durete was arrested at the scene.
A few hours later, a witness told the DPD that she'd been standing near a food truck parked at the 15th and Market intersection when she'd seen a group of people arguing nearby. She characterized one of them as a black male with shoulder-length hair and a black gun in his hand — a description that fit Durete.
Shortly thereafter, the witness heard gunfire.
Surveillance video subsequently revealed a man placing an object behind a brick pillar in the parking lot of the PF Chang's restaurant on 15th Street. That object turned out to be a black Smith & Wesson 9mm handgun with a locked slide and an empty magazine.
Police also found a scattering of 9mm and .45-caliber shell casings in the area. The evidence is said to have suggested "a gun battle...with an unknown black male across the street from the taco truck, and return fire coming from two different guns near the taco truck."
The female victim was across the street from the taco truck when she was struck, the probable-cause statement reveals.
Meanwhile, Rico was found next to his Buick Lucerne, which was parked in the lot. A .45-caliber handgun was on its passenger seat, and blood appeared to be present.
When it came time for his video interview, Durete refused to answer questions, but he asked one: He said that Rico was his brother and wanted to know how he was doing.
Rico also declined to spill to detectives. Both brothers are being held for investigation of attempted first-degree murder with extreme indifference and first-degree assault.
That two such incidents have taken place in close proximity during such a short period of time raises new concerns about safety in an iconic part of the Mile High City.
Update: Late September 28, the DPD shared a Metro Denver Crime Stopper bulletin regarding the homicide and aggravated assault that occurred early that morning in the 1400 block of Market Street:
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