Denver Patriot Militia supporter shot dead by 9News TV station private security guard during Saturday demonstrations. Shooting follows initial claims of BLM-Antifa protester being the gunman.
Denver Police in updated statements have confirmed that a BLM-Antifa demonstrator did not shoot dead a protester with the Patriot Muster militia in Denver, Colorado. Contrary to initial reports, the gunman was described as being a private security guard with a NBC News Affiliate, 9News, covering Saturday’s events.
The gunman is alleged to have shot dead a ‘Patriot Muster’ Militia protester following a series of threats to ‘mace me’ after the demonstrator pulled out a canister. The gunman in turn pulled out his handgun and shot dead the militia supporter during Saturday’s BLM protests (see video below).
The identities of the alleged gunman and the victim were not immediately known the Denver Post reports.
The incident led to the victim being rushed to hospital only to succumb to their injuries. Denver Police Department stated two suspects had been taken into custody, with one being held in direct connection to the shooting. The second person was apprehended for different allegations, police said.
The individuals have since been identified as being a 9News employee and a 9News contractor. The Post Millennial cited police statements indicating the shooter was believed to be a private security for a local television station.
— Ophelia (@BarnBurnerBaby) October 10, 2020
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John ‘Tig’ Tiegen summons ‘Patriot Muster’ followers
John ‘Tig’ Tiegen summoned his ‘Patriot Muster’ followers to a 2pm gathering in the Civic Center park with the slogan: ‘Stand up, show up.’
‘Join myself and hundreds of fellow Patriot Americans for a Muster at Civic Center Park 2pm sharp,’ the militant nationalist had posted on Instagram.
‘Don’t let the communists, socialist party and groups intimidate or Oppress you any longer! Come join us and be heard & seen and celebrate OUR freedoms,’ the post continued.
As a result of huge police presence leading up to Saturday’s protests, riot police were almost immediately on the scene following the sounds of gunshots.
They arrested the gunman, who dropped his handgun without resistance and was arrested.
‘Officers are investigating a shooting that occurred in the Courtyard by the Art Museum,’ Denver Police Department (DPD) tweeted.
Clash between right leaning and left leaning group as demonstrations wound down
Witnesses told of people arguing prior to the gunfire and a cloud of orange smoke coming from the area right before the shooting denvercbslocal reported.
Police also recovered a mace canister from the scene. It remained unclear if it was the same mace that had purportedly led up to the counterprotester retaliating upon being purportedly maced in the face.
Police officials say it’s up to the district attorney to determine whether the male who allegedly shot the gun was doing so in self defense.
Saturday’s Denver BLM shooting follows a series of tense protests and counter protests over the course of the summer.
On Saturday, as with previous weekend, the right-leaning protesters were inside the amphitheater area while the left-leaning protestors were outside.
One group were calling for police reform while the other group of protesters were there to show support for police.
— Marc Sallinger (@MarcSallinger) October 10, 2020
‘Denver police respects the right to peacefully assemble.’
Large numbers of officers attempted to keep the two sides apart.
Police were not letting anyone else into amphitheater area, but by 3:30pm, the Denver Post reported, the barrier appeared to be coming down as the rally held by the Patriot Muster group was ending.
Police fired what appeared to be pepper balls into the crowd, after people from the leftist group started rattling the barrier headed into the amphitheater. It was there shortly after that a militia supporter was fatally shot.
Saturday’s shooting comes after police had asked organizers to cancel or postpone their rallies, to try and tone down tension, in anticipation of rising tensions.
Ahead of Saturday’s rallies, Denver police had issued a statement saying the department ‘respects the right to peacefully assemble.’
They continued: ‘Those who participate in protests, demonstrations, marches, or other gatherings, as protected by the First Amendment, are reminded to do so in a lawful manner. Individuals who choose to act outside of local, state and federal law, will be subject to citation or arrest.’