Denver DA charges parolee wounded in police shooting that left 6 bystanders injured

The Denver District Attorney’s Office on Friday filed criminal charges against Jordan Waddy, the man police shot outside a LoDo bar last weekend morning in an incident that also left six bystanders wounded by police gunfire.

Waddy, 21, was charged with three counts of possession of a weapon by a previous offender and one count of third-degree assault for his actions in the case, DA Beth McCann announced. The gun possession charges are felonies and the assault count is a misdemeanor.

Waddy was on parole for aggravated assault convictions at the time of the shooting. He was arrested after Denver police shot him in the abdomen outside the Larimer Beer Hall bar in the 2000 block of Larimer Street at about 1:35 a.m. Sunday.

According to accounts from Denver police officials, officers approached Waddy after observing him in an altercation with another man outside the bar. Believing he was carrying a gun, officers confronted Waddy in the middle of the closed street, but he then moved closer to the sidewalk, which was crowded with people exiting bars in the busy downtown nightlife district.

After briefly losing sight of him, officers saw Waddy again, at which point he moved to pull a handgun from his clothing, Denver police Cmdr. Matt Clark said at a briefing this week.

In a probable cause statement, an officer at the scene reported that Waddy “pointed the firearm in their direction.” Three officers subsequently fired a total of seven shots at him. Waddy was wounded as were six other people. Three of the bystanders were seriously injured.

Waddy was arrested on suspicion of felony menacing and possession of a weapon by a previous offender. A loaded gun was recovered from the scene.

When asked why a menacing charge was not filed, Denver District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Carolyn Tyler said, “Our ethics dictate that we only take cases and file changes that we believe we can prove to a jury.”

At Wednesday’s briefing, Clark said Waddy did not appear to have his hand on the “pistol grip” of the gun as he pulled it from his clothes. Instead, he may have been holding it from the slide on the top of the gun. It’s unclear if he would have been able to fire the weapon the way he was holding it, Clark said, but officers believed there were in mortal danger.

More people were injured by police during Sunday’s shooting than in any other police shooting in Colorado since at least 2010, when the state started collecting data on police shootings. The incident has led to outrage and demands for accountability from Denver police.

All three officers are on leave while the investigation into the shooting is ongoing. Denver police have released still images from the officers’ body-worn cameras but do not intend to make public any video footage until the investigation is complete.

“Looking back, six bystanders got injured, and I think you have to conclude something could have been done differently,” Clark said this week. “But in the moment they were doing what they could to stop violence and ensure safety downtown.”

Additional court dates have yet to be set in Waddy’s case.

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