DENVER — Two trusted sources who told FOX31 Denver that an Italian gun company executive was questioned by local law enforcement after a Denver cab driver thought he might be a terrorist now say they were misled.
David Kopel, a nationally-recognized Second Amendment attorney with the Independence Institute in Denver, first told FOX31 Denver about the alleged incident Saturday. He referred us to Korrine Aguirre, who, it now appears, concocted an elaborate but false story.
Aguirre told FOX31 Denver, and another media organization, Examiner.com, that an executive with the Perazzi gun manufacturing company was on his way to the Colorado Gun Collectors Association show, to display a half-million dollars worth of prototype guns.
In a series of conversations with FOX31 Denver, Aguirre claimed a taxi driver picked up the executive at a downtown Denver hotel and called police because he was worried about guns the executive was carrying. Aguirre also told us the executive was questioned and then released by authorities.
Steve Schreiner, a Colorado board member of the National Rifle Association, told us he was at the gun show. He said Aguirre told him about the alleged questioning of Perazzi by police.
Schreiner also said Aguirre told other exhibitors the Perazzi executive was scheduled to display guns at the show.
Schreiner said a table was set aside for the display and Aguirre was there with well-known exhibitors at Colorado gun shows.
Schreiner said Aguirre let him listen in on a phone call involving Aguirre and a person she claimed was a Perazzi lawyer. In the conversation, it appeared to Schreiner that Aguirre was speaking with the executive’s attorney as he was being questioned by police.
Throughout Saturday afternoon and evening, Aguirre, who claimed to be a lawyer herself, told FOX31 Denver she was in contact with the gun executive. She claimed he was too upset and shaken to do an on-camera interview.
Aguirre’s online resume states that she graduated from the University of Denver’s Strum College of Law in 2011. A DU spokesperson said they did not find her on a register. Aguirre does not appear in the state’s database of attorneys.
FOX31 Denver has seen a series of emails shared between Aguirre and with an Examiner.com reporter. In the emails, she maintains the same story.
On Monday, Perrazi denied either their guns or their executive had been in Denver for the show.
FOX31 Denver attempted to contact Aguirre again, but she hung up and has not returned our calls.
Kopel and Schreiner say they now believe Aguirre was lying from the beginning and duped them.
There is no indication what Aguirre’s motive might be.
In our original report, FOX31 Denver incorrectly identified the Adams County Sheriff’s Department as the law enforcement agency that investigated the incident and questioned Perazzi.
Wednesday, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office released a statement saying they “had no involvement with detaining, arresting, questioning, or being in contact with any person from the Perazzi Corporation or any other person at the Denver Mart regarding this alleged incident.”
FOX31 Denver News Director Ed Kosowski said , “More steps should have been taken to corroborate Aguirre’s story and verify information provided by Kopel and Schreiner. KDVR is committed to fair, accurate and balanced reporting and we are reviewing policies and procedures to ensure our content meets those standards.”