DENVER – In an unprecedented move, the Mongols Motorcycle Club held its first news conference Thursday in response to the deadly shooting at the Denver Coliseum on Saturday.
The incident happened during a motorcycle expo between the Mongols, who call themselves an outlaw biker club, and The Iron Order, a motorcycle club made up primarily of law enforcement.
In a prepared statement, the Mongols said the incident started when a member of The Iron Order pushed a Mongol member. Then, they said another member of The Iron Order pulled out a gun.
That is when the Mongols said their member, Victor Mendoza, was shot and killed. They said he did not have any weapons and was just trying to protect everyone from a man with a gun.
“If you are an unarmed man that is charging some intoxicated lunatic at the top of the stairs that is waving a gun at a crowd of people, that is definitely self-defense,” Mongols attorney Stephen Stubbs read from a prepared statement.
Stubbs would not elaborate on what sparked the shoving, if it was a territory dispute between the groups or if the Mongols were cooperating with the Denver Police Department. He avoided all subsequent questions after finishing with the statement.
"We’re not going to comment on what the Denver Police Department is saying,” Stubbs said.
The incident is still under investigation. No charges have been filed.
Full statement from Mongols Motorcycle Club:
"The Mongols Motorcycle Club is confident that the many independent witnesses will tell the truth and this matter will be handled appropriately.
Everyone has the right to defend themselves from physical confrontation. If someone is threatened or attacked, that person has the right to stand up for himself and use appropriate force to defend against that threat. However, any force used to defend yourself must be reasonable.
Pulling a gun after one of your buddies pushes someone is not reasonable and cannot be self-defense. Shooting an unarmed person that tries to disarm you, after you unlawfully brandish a gun, cannot be self-defense. Running to the top of the stairs, pointing a gun at the crowd below, and shooting an unarmed man that bravely tries to disarm you cannot be self-defense.
On the flip side, attempting to disarm a person with your hands after they pull a gun on you is lawful self-defense. Using your fists to defend yourself and your brothers against a group whose member just show one of you in the chest is self-defense. Likewise, if you are an unarmed man that is charging some intoxicated lunatic at the top of the stairs that is waiving a gun at a crowd of people – that is definitely self-defense.
On January 30, 2016, a citizen died as he charged a man that was waiving a gun at a large group of people. That citizen’s name is Victor Mendoza. He was a dedicated father and husband. A true brother and friend with the talent to make kids smile. Victor Mendoza sacrificed his life attempting to save others. There is no greater love than this."