Denver police are searching for a woman who allegedly shot five people outside country singer Dierks Bentley’s Whiskey Row club after she was turned away at the door for using what security personnel believed was a fake ID.
UPDATE: #Denver do you have any information that can help identify or locate the suspect involved in this shooting? If so, please contact @CrimeStoppersCO at 720-913-STOP(7867) pic.twitter.com/ZbJFVVFULM
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) September 18, 2023
After she was denied entry, the woman reportedly went back to speak with security, and, as she again walked away, she pulled out a handgun and began shooting toward the club, sending five people to the hospital, according to KDVR, FOX31.
“There seemed to be some sort of confrontation or a fight over that verbal altercation, at which she produced a handgun that was concealed on her person and started shooting,” Armando Saldate, executive director of Denver Public Safety, told the outlet.
Though the woman “may have been shooting towards the security personnel,” according to police, her victims, who are expected to survive, were not her intended targets.
One witness who was waiting in line to enter the club at the time of the shooting said the incident went down “really fast.”
“We had been waiting in line for probably about 10 minutes. We were almost in the front of the line at this point,” Madison Sharnowski told Denver 7.
“It happened really fast,” she recalled. “Obviously there were the gunshots. There was quite a few, I’d say maybe seven or eight of them.”
After first freezing, Sharnowski said she took cover behind a wall.
“In that moment, it’s like flight or fight response,” she explained. “When I first ran, I was kind of like, check yourself, did — did I get hit? Check your people — did any of them get hit?”
“There was a girl that was two or three people in front of us and she had been hit,” she said. “I know that there was also a girl that was just a couple of people behind us that had been hit.”
Most of the victims were hit in the leg, she said, while one woman took a shot through the ankle.
“The girl in front of us that had been hit wasn’t able to move,” Sharnowski said. “So in that moment, it was kind of like, ‘What what can I do to help?'”
The witness helped the woman call her mother and stayed with her until the ambulance arrived.
“The shooting comes after another shooting in June just a block away that injured several people,” KDVR reports. “Denver Police has in the past come up with strategies to address large party crowds in the area with clubs and bars.”
“We are very concerned about the ongoing criminal activity in LoDo and have been engaged with city officials and neighborhood leaders on how to make positive improvements in the area,” a Whiskey Row spokesperson said in a statement to FOX31.
Chris Hinds, District 10 council member, told the outlet that more police are needed in Denver.
“At that tactical moment, who was there to hold her accountable?” Hinds said of the suspected shooter. “That’s what our police do, and we need to make sure that we have adequate police force throughout our city.”
“I’m extremely grateful to be here. And to be OK, and that all of my friends are also OK,” Sharnowski said. “But it’s a traumatic experience to go through, especially for the five victims that were hit. I feel like if this weekend taught me anything, it’s to hold your people close. Be safe, and most importantly, be kind to everyone.”
If you recognize the wanted woman, Denver police ask that you please contact @CrimeStoppersCO at 720-913-STOP(7867).
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