I actually was down there to see what it was about (i dont smoke) and left about 20 mins before this happened to meet up with friends that i was attending the rockies / diamondbacks game weith
Denver marijuana rally ends with shooting, chaos - The Denver Post
Denver marijuana rally ends with shooting, chaos
Posted: 04/21/2013 08:18:14 AM MDT
Updated: 04/21/2013 08:18:32 AM MDT
By John Ingold, Sadie Gurman and John Wenzel, The Denver Post
People attending the 4/20 rally Saturday at Civic Center in Denver take cover or flee after hearing shots about 5 p.m. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post) (Joe Amon)
Gunshots pierced the fog of marijuana smoke hanging in Denver's Civic Center on Saturday afternoon, sending attendees at the largest pot smokeout in the country scrambling for their lives.
Denver police said two people who were shot in their legs were rushed to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. Also, a juvenile grazed by a bullet walked to a nearby hospital.
Officers were on the hunt for two suspects, although Sonny Jackson, a police spokesman, said investigators don't yet know what led to the shooting.
"It was peaceful; everybody was having fun," witness Laura Forduno said. "And then you heard the shots. Pow, pow, pow, pow."
Saturday's rally — an annual event called 4/20 that celebrates a
A person is loaded into an ambulance by Denver paramedics on 13th Street near the scene at Civic Center Park in Denver on Saturday. (Joe Amon/The Denver Post) (Joe Amon)
holiday for marijuana enthusiasts — was the first since Colorado voters legalized use of marijuana for people over 21. Organizers expected record crowds. And the tens of thousands of people who packed into the downtown park did not disappoint.
"This is what freedom smells like," marijuana attorney Rob Corry shouted to the crowd. "You are standing on some of the freest ground in the world."
At 4:20 p.m., the thousands exhaled one of the largest clouds of marijuana smoke ever collectively produced. Then, about 40 minutes later, shots rang out.
Witnesses said as many as 10 shots sounded about 5 p.m. near the Greek theater, where musician Lil' Flip was performing.
"He said, 'They're shooting back there!' and everyone just started taking off," said Daniel Barnes, 26, who was next to the stage and nearly trampled.
Rallygoers left their shoes behind in the race to leave the theater. Broken glass from trampled bottles littered the ground.
"There were people falling and tripping all over each other," said Cody Kennedy, 28. "I thought I was going to die for a second."
Police said a female gunshot victim managed to walk across West 14th Avenue, where officers found her. Others rushed to help a wounded man, who was lying on the ground near the theater. He had been shot in the thigh.
"Man, I'm hit, I'm hit," the victim moaned, according to Dean Zimmerman, 47, who tried to calm him down. Zimmerman's clothes were covered in blood. "He was cool about it all. I'm talking to him, telling him, 'You're going to be OK, you're going to be OK.' "
Travis Craig, 28, said he used a belt as a tourniquet on the man's leg.
"He was bleeding pretty bad," Craig said.
Police urged anyone who saw the attack to come forward, as thousands of people ran away after the gunfire.
"Basically, everybody fled," Jackson said. "That's the problem."
The shooting cast a pall over the centerpiece of a number of weekendevents that turned Denver into a marijuana mecca — a glimpse of what life could be like in one of the most cannabis-infused cities in the world.
The 4/20 rally's organizers canceled a second rally scheduled for Sunday.
"We hope that the Denver police capture the culprit," organizer Miguel Lopez said. "The entire city of Denver is a victim."
It also dampened the first marijuana vacation tour in the country. The two Denver entrepreneurs behind My 420 Tours were shepherding about 200 people through the city last week, taking them to marijuana cooking classes, cultivation tours, concerts and the rally. The tourists came from around the globe.
"I just wanted to be part of history," said Chris Fowlie, who traveled from New Zealand to be part of the weekend. "This is history in the making here."
Matt Brown, one of the My 420 Tours organizers, said many in the company's group were about 100 feet from the shooting. They were shaken but not injured.
Saturday's festivities got underway immediately after midnight Friday, when Snoop Lion — the musician formerly known as Snoop Dogg — tossed joints into the crowd at the Fillmore Auditorium.
During the day Saturday, a line of about 400 fans waiting to get into the sold-out Cannabis Cup — a combination marijuana competition and festival — wrapped around the entire block of the Exdo Center.
Sarah Alfieri, who drove eight hours from Omaha, had been waiting in line for about two hours.
"We celebrated 4:20 in line," Alfieri said. "There was lots of cheering."
Down the street at the hemp clothing store Hoodlab, those not willing to wait in the line for Cannabis Cup wandered into another weed-themed event called Cannaval. Inside, a mellow, modest crowd tossed pingpo
Meanwhile, Red Rocks Amphitheatre employees began turning away hikers and joggers from the venue just before 2:30 p.m. Saturday to set up for a 4/20-themed concert from Slightly Stoopid and Cypress Hill. The upper and lower parking lots were half-full by midafternoon as the legendary tailgating scene kicked into high gear.
The area was dominated by green T-shirts — sample: "I (Pot Leaf) CO" — and marijuana-leaf necklaces as concertgoers counted down the hours until the sold-out 7 p.m. show with Frisbee-throwing, hacky-sack, grilling, beer drinking and, of course, copious amounts of marijuana smoking.
"We would have come anyway, but combined with the first legal 4/20, we wanted to be here for sure," said Golden resident and student Scott Duff, 21.
For members of Smart Colorado, a group opposed to marijuana use and sales, the weekend's events set a different kind of precedent.
"These events, which will be covered by national media, will send a clear message to the rest of the nation and the world about what Colorado looks like," Smart Colorado leader Henny Lasley wrote in a blog post. "Does the behavior of the participants in these events reflect well on our state?"