Back in 2013, three high-profile acts of violence at light-rail stations took place within a few months of each other, raising concern about the safety of riding the trains, especially at night.
Since then, the situation has seemed to improve.
However, an incident that took place last night at the Auraria West light-rail station could bring back such anxieties, even though the suspected perpetrators appear to have been as inept as they were violent.
The two men reportedly attempted to commit not one but two robberies with an unloaded gun that was subsequently used in a pistol-whipping — and after bullets were chambered into the weapon, one of the suspects was shot with it. At this writing, it's unclear who pulled the trigger.
First official word of the incident came via this Denver Police Department tweet:
#DPD at 1250 5th St. on a shooting. Light rail station and area closed for crime scene investigation. Updates provided as available.— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) September 3, 2015
Additional information is provided by 7News, which reveals that the offenses started while the train was in motion.
According to the broadcaster, two men approached a pair of passengers and demanded cash.
When the couple revealed that they didn't have any money on them, the men moved on to another couple, who gave the same answer, with the dude chiding them for trying to commit a robbery with an unloaded gun.
The gat could still do some damage, though. One of the suspects allegedly hit the man with the pistol, bloodying his face, then raced off the train once it hit the Auraria station — and to make sure no one else could make fun of him for a lack of bullets, he loaded the gun as they ran.
At that point, the two men got into a fight with another group of people, and in the scuffle that followed, the armed suspect lost his gun. Shortly thereafter, he was shot.
Did someone purposefully target the man? Or did it go off accidentally? That's one element of the crime currently under investigation. In the meantime, the wounded suspect was taken to an area hospital, while his cohort wound up in police custody. Their names have not yet been released.
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Whoever they are, their actions should be viewed as more than a comedy of errors — particularly by people who ride the light rail.
Here's the aforementioned 7News report.