U.S. News

Fatal shooting in downtown Denver gang-related: prosecutor

DENVER (Reuters) - A gun battle on a downtown Denver street this week that left one person dead and four wounded stemmed from an exchange of gunfire between two rival gang members, federal prosecutors said on Wednesday.

Shortly after 4 p.m. on Monday, gunfire erupted in Denver’s LoDo section, about two blocks from Coors Field, home of Major League Baseball’s Colorado Rockies.

One victim was pronounced dead at the scene and four people were wounded, including one of the suspected gunmen, with what police said were non-life threatening injuries.

The name of the person killed has not been released, but the local CBS News affiliate, citing anonymous sources, said the individual was a bystander.

Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen said on Tuesday that investigators arrested Josh Hayward, 24, a day after he fled the shooting scene in a vehicle.

Pazen said one of the wounded men, Dashae Armstrong, was taken into federal custody on a weapons violation.

On Wednesday, U.S. Attorney Jason Dunn said in a statement that Armstrong, a Tre Deuce Crip gang member, exchanged gunfire with Hayward, who belongs to the rival Tre Tre Crip gang.

Armstrong, 23, was arrested by federal authorities after he was treated at a hospital for a gunshot wound to the leg, Dunn said.

Armstrong has two separate felony convictions in 2013 and 2014 for distribution of a controlled substance, the statement said. The felony convictions bar him from owning firearms under federal law.

Hayward is being held without bond in the Denver County jail on suspicion of first-degree murder, jail records showed. He has not been formally charged, according to a spokesman for the Denver District Attorney’s Office.

Both men made their first court appearances in the separate jurisdictions on Wednesday. Armstrong is set for a detention hearing in U.S. District Court next Tuesday, and if convicted of the firearms charge, faces a maximum 10-year prison sentence and up to $250,000 in fines.

Hayward faces a mandatory life sentence without the possibility of parole if convicted of the first-degree murder charge.

Dunn said that the investigation was a collaborative effort between the FBI, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Denver Police.

Reporting by Keith Coffman; Editing by Bill Tarrant and Peter Cooney