DENVER – A private security guard accused of shooting and killing a patron outside a east Denver restaurant early Monday morning was not licensed to carry a firearm at the time of the deadly shooting, according to officials with the city’s Department of Excise and Licenses.
The shooting at Lempira restaurant, located at 1452 N. Uinta Street, happened at around 12:30 a.m. Monday. Responding to reports of a shooting, Denver police found a man with a gunshot wound about a block away from the restaurant who was taken to a hospital for treatment. The man later died from his injuries.
In an order of summary suspension letter obtained by Denver7 Tuesday, officials with the Denver Department of Excise and Licenses said security guards contracted by J&M Security LLC were working at the restaurant the night of the shooting when a conflict broke out between patrons and the security guards.
During the conflict, the letter states, multiple shots were fired and one of the security guards fired their weapon at a patron driving away in a car, striking one of the vehicle’s passengers and killing the individual. Another “unlawfully fired their weapon into the air to disperse the crowd,” while a third security guard also shot a patron with a rubber bullet, the letter reads.
“The security guard who fired his weapon at the vehicle, was not licensed and had not received any approvals to carry his firearm from the Department,” states the order of summary suspension.
He was identified by Denver police on Monday as 23-year-old Dante Pacheco-Rodriguez.
Pacheco-Rodriguez is being held on one count of investigation of first-degree murder and five counts of investigation of attempted-murder – criminal offense, according to police.
“The Director having reviewed the ongoing investigation of the Denver Police Department hereby finds that the public health, safety, or welfare imperatively requires emergency action and summary suspension of the Respondent’s license due to the Respondent’s hiring and provision of unlicensed security guards and the consequences stemming from the hiring of such guards,” the letter states in closing remarks.
In an email Tuesday, a spokesman for the Department of Excise and Licenses said the hotel and restaurant liquor license and dance cabaret license held by Vigua LLC was also being suspended in the aftermath of the shooting.
Both businesses have the opportunity to contest their license suspensions, the spokesman said.
“Security guard companies and individuals are required under Denver law to have a license. Security guard individuals are required to complete a background check and complete 16 hours of training before being issued a license and 8 hours of training each additional year,” the spokesman said in an email. “Security guards in Denver are required to file an application and receive city permission to carry a firearm and are required to wear a uniform unless they apply and receive special permission to dress in plain clothes.”
More information about licensing requirements for security guards in Denver can be found here.