New details come to light about deadly brawl at motorcycle expo

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DENVER -- The Denver Police Department on Sunday would not confirm which motorcycle clubs were involved in a a deadly shooting that shut down the country’s largest motorcycle expo a day early.

But attorneys representing the clubs have spoken out.

“There were people hiding behind this cement barrier and under the tables,” said vendor Tod Parker, a witness to the chaos that erupted at the National Western Complex at 12:48 p.m. Saturday.

The city canceled the Colorado Motorcycle Expo after witnesses said rival motorcycle clubs got into a fight that escalated into the death of one.

“There were two shots fired on the stairs and then there was some running down this hallway and one of the guys turned around right here, two more shots,” Parker said.

The ensuing violence killed one man and injured seven others, three of whom remain in critical condition.

No arrests have been made, though a man in an Iron Order Colorado jacket was seen being hauled off in handcuffs. Iron Order is a predominant law enforcement and military members club.

“We have not verified absolutely that law enforcement is part of one of those clubs, absolutely not from Denver,” Denver Police Chief Robert White said during a news conference Saturday night.

But police are investigating whether they could be from other law enforcement agencies. The Department of Corrections confirmed in a news release on Sunday night that one of its employees was involved in the altercation.

"Fact of the matter is an Iron Order member shot and killed a Mongol member and it was senseless,” Mongols attorney Stephen Stubbs said.

He wouldn’t identify the victim, but he did say Iron Order started a verbal, then a physical altercation.

“There’s no need to pull out weapons and escalate because you are losing a fist fight,” Stubbs said.

But John Whitfield, a lawyer and member of Iron Order, said it was the Mongols who started the fight by jumping three outnumbered Iron Order members.

“This is one of those events everyone gets along, never been any trouble,” Parker said.

But not Saturday, when fistfights grew into gunfire, leaving one man dead and leaving in jeopardy the future of a 38-year event.

“We'll assess how the event, if at all, is held again in our city," Denver Manager of Safety Stephanie O’Malley said.

Stubbs said he has concerns Denver police will be fair because they’re investigating a brother in blue.

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