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Three victims still healing physically, emotionally one month after LoDo police shooting

Three LoDo police shooting victims
Posted at 9:46 PM, Aug 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-17 23:46:27-04

DENVER — It's been one month since six bystanders were injured in a police shooting in Denver's Lower Downtown (LoDo). On Tuesday, the Denver Police Department released the body camera video from the incident, stirring up memories for the victims, as well as questions.

It’s a night that will forever live in the minds of Willis Small IV, Yekalo Weldehiwet and Bailey Alexander. They were all in LoDo on July 17. None of them knew each other then, but now they're forever connected.

Small is seen in the Halo footage walking on the sidewalk towards the crowd just seconds before Denver police officers opened fire. He was hit in the foot.

Small says it was surreal watching back the footage.

“It’s extremely disappointing considering the amount of lives, especially in my age range, that were right in that crossfire,” he said.

Weldehiwet was struck in the upper right arm, causing some nerve damage to his thumb. He says he’s yet to watch the bodycam video, but his brother did and told him what he saw.

“I’m still dealing with the healing process of what took place that day — physically and mentally. I’ll eventually watch it,” Weldehiwet said.

Alexander says she and her boyfriend were about to grab food at the food truck outside the Larimer Beer Hall when she heard gunshots. She was hit in the right side of her back, and the bullet went into her upper right arm.

Alexander believes the police officers were in the wrong.

“Everything happened so quickly. And in one of the videos, you can very clearly see the suspect drop the weapon before shots were fired,” she said.

Small, Weldehiwet and Alexander say they want to see justice served for everyone who was injured that day.

“As a civilian, if I was to be in that situation, I would have been immediately held accountable,” said Small.

“I would love for the Denver Police Department to think about this so it never happens again,” said Alexander.

All three victims say they are still physically healing and hope to return to work soon. However, they say they’ll be mentally affected by this incident for a long time. All said they are afraid to go into crowds and feel some anxiety when they see police officers out and about.

Denver District Attorney Beth McCann has opened a grand jury investigation into the incident.