Denver police still investigating motorcyle expo fatal shooting

The Colorado Department of Corrections employee identified as a participant in the brawl is no longer on administrative leave

It has been two months since one man was killed and seven others were wounded in a brawl at Denver's Motorcycle Expo, but police have not decided whether to bring charges against anyone involved.

Police had little to say about the case this week other than the investigation is ongoing.

"What I can tell you is that we are still actively investigating this case, and that the case will be presented to the DA's Office upon conclusion of the investigation — though there is no timeline for when that will occur. The commander did not wish to elaborate on the investigative process or timeline to this point," Denver Police Department spokesman Doug Schepman said in an e-mail in response to The Denver Post's query.

DENVER, CO - January 30: Denver Police escort a man into an ambulance after taking off his handcuffs at the National Western Stock Show complex January 30,
DENVER, CO - January 30: Denver Police escort a man into an ambulance after taking off his handcuffs at the National Western Stock Show complex January 30, 2016. DPD reported a shooting and stabbing at the complex during the Colorado Motorcycle Expo with one dead and several wounded. (THE DENVER POST | Andy Cross)

When pressed for details in what steps have been made, Schepman said police needed to protect the investigation's integrity.

The clash between the Mongols and Iron Order motorcycle clubs unfolded Jan. 30 at Denver's National Western Complex. An argument between club members escalated into a fight with fists, knives and guns, according to prior police reports.

The fight and shooting fueled an ongoing, nationwide dispute between traditional motorcycle clubs and the Iron Order, whose membership includes those from law enforcement agencies.

 

Victor Mendoza, a 46-year-old Mongols member, was killed by a gunshot in the fight.

The only person identified in connection with the shooting is Derrick Duran, a Colorado Department of Corrections employee who is a member of the Iron Order.

Duran was placed on administrative leave after the shooting, but no longer is on that restriction, said Laurie Kilpatrick, a corrections department spokeswoman.

Duran has not returned to work although he has not been terminated nor has he resigned, Kilpatrick said. She was not able to offer further clarification on Duran's status, including whether he is being paid or why he had been removed from administrative leave.

He has been employed at the corrections department since May 2012 and works at the Denver complex where convicts are evaluated before they are assigned to a prison where they will serve a sentence.

The department has not issued any policy against its employees joining or associating with the Iron Order, she said.

Stephen Stubbs, a Las Vegas attorney who represents the Mongols and Mendoza's son, said he has talked with Denver police and the Mongols are cooperating with the investigation.

Stubbs said Denver police have pledged to meet with him once they decide whether anyone will be charged.

"They will inform family before anything goes public," Stubbs said.

 

 

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Motorcyclists leave the National Western Stock Show complex January 30, 2016 after Denver Police reported a shooting and stabbing at during the Colorado Motorcycle Expo leaving one dead and several wounded. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

Motorcyclists leave the National Western Stock Show complex January 30, 2016 after Denver Police reported a shooting and stabbing at during the Colorado Motorcycle Expo leaving one dead and several wounded. (Photo by Andy Cross/The Denver Post)

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