DENVER (CBS4) – The investigation into Saturday’s deadly biker fight at the National Western Complex is being hindered by a lack of cooperation by some biker groups who have members who were involved.
That’s according to Denver police Cmdr. Ron Saunier of the department’s Major Crimes Unit, who said Monday that investigators are still working to determine who might face charges in the case.
So far no one has been arrested, and police say they are continuing to interview witnesses.
Saturday’s fight started at the bottom of a stairway inside the Expo Hall during the Colorado Motorcycle Expo, an annual two-day event held at the complex. Saunier said members of two different motorcycle clubs got into a “territorial” dispute, and soon dozens of people were involved.
“The altercation turned physical pretty quick,” Saunier said.
Gunshots soon rang out, and four people wound up being struck by gunfire. One died and two others were critically hurt. Another was grazed by a bullet. Saunier said multiple firearms were recovered as part of their investigation.
Other people involved in the fight were beaten, and one person was stabbed.
The scene at the hospital afterwards was chaotic and for a short time Denver Health Medical Center went on lockdown.
Denver’s coroner on Monday morning identified the person who died as Victor Mendoza, 46. CBS4 reports that he was part of a motorcycle club called The Mongols.
Saunier wouldn’t identify any of the motorcycle gangs by name during a conversation with reporters on Monday, however CBS4 reported the fight was primarily between The Mongols and The Iron Order. Saunier said one biker group is being cooperative and answering their questions. Another group, however, is slowing down the investigation.
“We are reaching out to the attorneys … and we’ve been doing the best that we can,” Saunier said.
“We ultimately need more cooperation.”
Investigators said they are looking for witnesses who have video or images that can help them. Anyone who captured pictures of video of the fight is asked to bring it to Denver police.
A Colorado Department of Corrections employee whose name isn’t being released was a member of one of the clubs and was one of the people who fired a gun during the fight. It’s not clear if he fired his gun in self defense.
“There is no indication he was taking any action related to his employment,” Saunier said.