Authorities said that two people were shot at the end of the parade and rally celebrating the Denver Nuggets’ first NBA championship. A police officer was also struck by a firetruck at the same event.
Denver Police Department reported that the shooting took place after the parade at Curtis Street & 17th Street. The Denver Police Department reported that two victims had been found.
Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas informed reporters at a press conference that a gunman had shot two men in a targeted attack.
Investigators do not believe that the shooting is related to the incident. Officials said that authorities have an image, but it is not identified, of a suspect who was not in custody.
A Denver SWAT officer, who was on duty an hour before the shooting incident, was hit by a firetruck transporting Nuggets players at the end of West 13th Ave. near Cherokee Street.
Thomas said that the officer tried to protect people who walked in front of a fire truck.
He said that the officer had to “step a little closer to the vehicle, and the firetruck began to roll his left leg up behind the vehicle, trapping him under the vehicle.”
The officer was pulled from under the truck. He was then taken to the hospital with an injury on his lower leg. Police said he was in a serious but stable condition and that he was undergoing surgery.
FOX 31 reported that the truck carried Nuggets players Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Larry O’Brien Championship Trophy. The Nuggets players were transferred to another truck for the final few blocks of their parade route.
Denver Health’s physician said that the officer’s injuries were limb-threatening. He said that the two victims of the shooting were in serious condition.
Thomas said that the downtown area is safe, but “unfortunately there are still too few guns” on the streets.” This has led to more shootings.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock stated that Thursday’s events went according to plan, except for the shooting which took place afterward.
He said, “Shame on you for ruining what was otherwise a very successful event in Colorado.”
The Denver Nuggets won their first NBA title in five games, and thousands of people attended the celebrations on Thursday.
Jokic was the NBA Finals MVP. Ten people were injured in Denver violence that broke out following the championship win on Monday.
Thomas was asked during the press conference how someone could fire in an area crowded with police.
He said: “This shows that people in our community feel emboldened now to behave in an irresponsible manner, regardless of who is watching.”
Hancock estimated that more than one million people participated in the parade and rally on Thursday.
Denver joined the NBA following the merger of the ABA. The team only reached one Final in its history, in 1976 with the ABA. The team was defeated by the New York Nets after six games.