What We Know About 21st & Lawrence Shooting That Killed One, Hurt Four

An overhead look at the intersection of 21st and Lawrence.
An overhead look at the intersection of 21st and Lawrence. Denver7 via YouTube
Editor's note: An arrest has been made in the November 19 shooting near 21st and Lawrence and one of four injured parties is believed to have taken part in an exchange of gunfire. Learn more in our post headlined "Two Suspects ID'd in 21st and Lawrence Shootout: Innocent Bystanders Hurt?" Continue for our previous coverage.

At this hour, Denver police personnel reportedly remain on the scene of a November 19 shooting near 21st and Lawrence streets that killed one person and injured four others.

The incident is at least the third shooting resulting in multiple casualties over the past two months in Denver's bustling downtown entertainment district.

Included in this number are a triple shooting near 15th and Market streets early on September 16 and a 14th and Market streets shooting on September 28 that injured one person and killed security guard Lucardio Kroener. Two arrests have been made in the former, none in the latter.

The location is also near the site of another murder that took place on Sunday, November 18, in the vicinity of Park Avenue West and Lawrence Street. Jonathan Diaz-Jimenez, 27, has been arrested in that incident.

So far, no arrests have been made in the 21st and Lawrence gun-down, nor have any suspects or victims been identified.

click to enlarge Denver police investigators speaking with witnesses at the scene. - DENVER7 VIA YOUTUBE
Denver police investigators speaking with witnesses at the scene.
Denver7 via YouTube
According to the indispensable Gun Violence Archive, yesterday's crime is the sixth mass shooting in the Denver metro area thus far in 2018, and the seventh in Colorado as a whole. The site defines a mass shooting as one in which four or more people are killed or injured. The complete list is below.

The first communication about the most recent incident from the Denver Police Department came by way of a tweet at 4:17 p.m. on November 19. It reads: "Alert: #DPD Officers on scene of a shooting in the area of 21st. and Lawrence Street. Road closures in the area."

A 4:42 p.m. follow-up tweet offered this update: "Multiple parties shot and transported from the scene at 21st & Lawrence. No suspect information is available at this time. Investigation is ongoing. PIO is en route and will meet media at 21st & Arapahoe."

A brief press conference followed; the video was posted at 5:57 p.m. and is accessible at the link embedded in this DPD tweet:

Denver police public-information officer Doug Schepman described the information he was providing to the assembled media as "really preliminary," and that proved to be true.

Throughout the session, Schepman referred to four shooting victims — one who was declared deceased at the scene and three others who were transported to a local hospital (Denver Health). But while he referenced the possibility of a fifth victim, a woman who witnesses claimed had been shot in the leg, he said officers had yet to confirm these reports.

The DPD finally tweeted at 8:29 p.m. last night that there was indeed a fifth victim. All of those injured are said to have been in stable or non-life-threatening condition as of last night.

Schepman revealed that word of multiple shots fired in the area of 21st and Lawrence came in shortly after 4 p.m., but stressed that "it's too early at this time to say what happened here, exactly, why it occurred. Our investigators are currently getting witness statements, seeking any video and photo evidence that would allow us to piece together exactly what happened here, and also to confirm suspect information."

Reporters asked Schepman about suggestions that a total of between fifteen to twenty shots had been fired, whether the shooter could be a member of the transient community, and if the gun wielder had worn a face mask. He was unable to provide any answers, but he did acknowledge the homicide near Park Avenue West and Lawrence a day earlier, saying, "At this time, we don't have information that connects these two incidents."

In response to questions about the location of the shooting, which is around the corner from a hot stretch of Larimer Street with numerous popular nightspots, including the soon-to-close El Charrito, and within view of Coors Field, Schepman noted that "downtown is obviously a very populated area, so to have multiple gunshots fired in an area like this is quite concerning."

click to enlarge Streets were blocked near Coors Field after the shooting. - DENVER7 VIA YOUTUBE
Streets were blocked near Coors Field after the shooting.
Denver7 via YouTube
On Twitter, residents of the area tried to get a more precise idea of where the shooting happened. One correspondent suggested that the actual spot was on 21st between Larimer and Lawrence.

Another Twitter user wrote: "I live in the area (not for long) and the increased hard drug use from the growing homeless population has made it valuable turf for dealers. Denver City Council likes it. Businesses will start heading to DTC. And downtown will suffer."

Here are the 2018 mass shooting incidents in Colorado, according to the Gun Violence Archive, placed in chronological order:

1. February 5, 2018
Colorado Springs, Colorado
4225 Gallery Road
Killed: 2
Injured: 4

2. May 27, 2018
Aurora, Colorado
15373 East 6th Avenue
Killed: 1
Injured 3

3. June 14, 2018
Westminster, Colorado
5150 West 80th Avenue
Killed: 1
Injured: 3

4. July 15, 2018
Denver, Colorado
50th and Grant
Killed: 0
Injured: 4

5: August 11, 2018
Thornton, Colorado
4050 East 100th Avenue
Killed: 1
Injured: 3

6: August 31, 2018
Aurora, Colorado
1900 block of Peoria Street
Killed: 2
Injured: 3

7. November 19, 2018
Denver, Colorado
21st Street and Lawrence Street
Killed: 1
Injured: 4
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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