One dead one jailed after firing in the middle of Denver demonstrations

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One person is dead and one person has been arrested after a shooting Saturday afternoon in Denver amid dueling political protests.

Denver police said the shooting, which happened about 3:30 p.m. near the intersection of 14th Avenue and Broadway, is being investigated as a homicide.

Investigators initially said two people had been arrested in connection with the shooting, but then revised their statement.

Videos taken at the scene showed a confrontation in a crowd of people near the Denver Art Museum followed by a single gunshot being fired. Police quickly rushed in, apparently detaining one person and tending to someone in distress nearby who was motionless on the ground.

Denver police Division Chief Joe Montoya told reporters at a news conference that a verbal altercation preceded the shooting. 

“There were two guns recovered at the scene,” Montoya said, adding that mace was also found by investigators. 

Montoya said it’s unclear if the victim and suspect were affiliated with any groups.

“We’re still trying to determine that — who they were affiliated with,” he said.

The person killed in the confrontation has been identified only as a man.

Denverite reports the shooting happened amid competing demonstrations in Denver’s Civic Center park. The news outlet says one group, led by conservative activist John Tiegen, was holding a “Patriot Muster” while the other was holding a “A Black Lives Matter Anti-Fascist Soup Drive.”

Tiegen is also well known for surviving the 2012 attack on an American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, where he was working on a security team.

Authorities say the demonstrations were wrapping up when the shooting happened.

Police did not immediately release further details on the shooting. They said more information will be released once it becomes available.

“We don’t want any erroneous information going out, any speculation, because that’s really what hurts us,” Montoya said. “That’s what gets everybody angry and motivated to commit more violence. And that’s what we’re trying to prevent.”

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