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Cell phone video shot by a KDVR editor shortly after news of the shooting broke.
Cell phone video shot by a KDVR editor shortly after news of the shooting broke.

Why Two Brothers Were Busted for 15th and Market Triple Shooting

The day after a triple shooting near 15th and Market streets early on Sunday, September 16, the Denver Police Department revealed that 35-year-old Armando Durete had been taken into custody on suspicion of committing the crimes. Now, a second person, Nickie Rico, 36, has also been busted in the case.

As outlined in probable cause statements below, Rico was initially thought to be a victim, having been shot multiple times. And he happens to be Durete's brother.

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At around 3 a.m. on the 16th, according to Rico's arrest report, a DPD detective began investigating the incident, which had taken place around half an hour earlier and involved the shooting of 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 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 nearby arguing. 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.

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.

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 and 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.

Rico, meanwhile, 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.

Evidence markers on the scene the morning after the shooting.
Evidence markers on the scene the morning after the shooting.

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.

The booking photos of the brothers have not yet been released, pending more witness interviews. Meanwhile, a source who contacted Westword after we posted about other crimes that had taken place near 15th and Market in recent years suggested that the shooting is only the most extreme example of violence in the area.

"Unfortunately, it took this tragedy to shine light on how dangerous it has become on this block," the source writes via email. "There is so much that goes unreported, perhaps to prevent a bad reputation for downtown Denver?"

Click to read the probable-cause statements pertaining to Nickie Rico and Armando Durete.

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