PD: Motorcycle expo shooting was over stairs

Posted at 1:15 PM, May 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-03 15:15:49-04

The deadly shooting at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo started over claims to a stairwell, according to the Denver police investigation.

"Detectives learned there was a verbal altercation between the Iron Order motorcycle club and the Mongols motorcycle club over the Mongols laying claim to a stairwell just south of their booth," the report obtained by Denver7 says. "At some point the verbal altercation turned physical."

The report says, "during the physical altercation, a member from the Iron Order club fired one time and struck a member from the Mongols."

Police said the altercation continued up the stairs where there was a second shooting.

In that case, police believe a man, possibly from the Mongols, fired one time striking two members from the Iron Order.

Police said one of those victims, Derrick Duran, fired back hitting Mongols motorcycle club member Victor Mendoza.

Mendoza died.

After an investigation by Denver police and the Denver District Attorney's Office, the DA's office decided not to charge Duran.

In video released by police Tuesday, shots can be heard twice. Police did not release the source of the video.

During the shooting, at least one other person was stabbed and two other people were assaulted. A total of seven people were reported injured.

The shooting and brawl happened in the middle of the afternoon on January 30 at the Colorado Motorcycle Expo, where 10,000 people, including children, were in attendance.

In January, lawyers for both motorcycle clubs released the following statements:

Stephen Stubbs is the attorney representing the Mongols. He said several Iron Order members initiated the fight:

"Mongol members were on the bottom floor at their booth when several members of the Iron Order walked down the stairs from their booth upstairs and started staring at the Mongols. Some Mongol members left the booth to confront the Iron Order members who were drunk and yelling obscenities at the Mongols."

According to Stubbs, one of the Iron Order members pulled out a gun and started threatening some of the Mongols. A fight broke out and one of the Mongols was shot, seriously injuring him.

Iron Order retreated up the stairs where they continued shouting obscenities. One of the Mongol members tried to run up the stairs to confront the Iron Order again. That Mongol was shot and killed by an Iron Order member who was carrying a gun. When that happened, a large brawl started in which there were fist fights, a stabbing and multiple shootings.

"No reason to pull out a gun when they're in a fist fight," said Stubbs. "The Iron Order is known to have cops that, they're not the kind you talk to on the street. They've got egos. They're living out a Sons of Anarchy."

Stubbs said no Mongol had a gun.

Iron Order's story

The lawyer for Iron Order, John Whitfield, told Denver7 a different story:

According to Whitfield, there were 16 Iron Order members at the expo, and they only stayed for an hour. As the members were leaving, they had to head down the stairs. When they came in view of the Mongols, one of them said a racial slur to an African American Iron Order member. Then, at least 30 Mongols jumped the Iron Order members, severely beating some members and stabbing at least one person.

During the fight, Whitfield said the Iron Order members feared for their lives. So, one member pulled out a gun and a shooting ensued. Whitfield said he thinks some of the Mongols did have guns. Whitfield said none of the Iron Order members involved in the fight were off-duty police, but one is a corrections officer, though Whitfield wouldn't specify for what jail or prison.