Yet the positive nature of the event was countered by a shooting after the clock struck 4:20 in which three people were injured.
Details, photos and a videos from a variety of sources below.
The basics: Just after 5 p.m., shots rang out in the park during a performance by hip-hop act Lil' Flip, causing the enormous crowd, estimated in the tens of thousands, to scatter. In the end, three people were wounded: Two were hit in the leg, while a third person was grazed by a bullet.Marijuana activist Timothy Tipton, who was scheduled to deliver the closing speech for day one of the rally at around 5:25 p.m., shared some observations via e-mail. He notes that he was preparing for his remarks when he heard a "rapid-fire burst of about twelve to fourteen shots" from "just over the wall, in front of the library."
The gunfire caused the audience to run forward, knocking over two rows of security fencing as he took refuge behind a speaker column and yelled for calm and respect, h;e continues.
Afterward, he observed the emptied area "strewn with clothes, belongings, shoes, T-shirts and heard reports about gang members flashing signs before the shooting and attendees with post-traumatic stress disorder suffering attacks. The irony struck him hard, since only moments earlier, marijuana attorney Rob Corry had been "singing his praises as evidence of a PEACEFUL EVENT!"
At this writing, no arrests have been made. Here's the description of possible suspects shared on the Denver Police Twitter account:
BREADKING: DPD looking for 2 shtg susps. Susp 1- black male (light complx), 6 ft-180 lbs., wearing gray hoodie, black pants,Caronlina bb cap— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) April 20, 2013
BREAKING: (cont)Shooting Susp 2 -Black male wearing black and white checkered shirt.— Denver Police Dept (@DenverPolice) April 20, 2013
There's still a full slate of 4/20 events at Civic Center Park, and Tipton offers hope that today "will be a Better Day!," as well as best wishes for the injured parties, all of whom are expected to recover.
Correction: After publishing this post, we learned that organizers of the 4/20 rally have canceled today's slate of events.
Look below to see photos of the shooting aftermath by our Brandon Marshall (click to see the complete "Shots Fired at 4/20 in Civic Center" slide show), as well as a slew of videos:Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park. Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park. Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park. Continue for more photos and videos of the 4/20 shooting at Civic Center Park.
More from our Marijuana archive: "Denver 4/20 Rally schedule: Pot, hip-hop and serious politics."