Denver Police: Stairwell dispute starts motorcycle expo fight

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DENVER - An argument over a claim to a stairwell led to a deadly shooting between two motorcycle club in Denver on January 30 where the motorcycle expo was being held at the National Western Complex.

9NEWS received a 195-page Denver Police report on the shooting where one man was shot and killed, four had been shot, one stabbed and two were assaulted. 

The shooting involved two motorcycle clubs, the Iron Order and the Mongols.

According to the report, the shooting happened over the Mongols laying claim to a stairwell just south of their booth.

According to the report, Iron Order members were standing on the stairwell and the landing.

Victor Mendoza, 46, died in that shooting. He was a member of the Mongols club.

The report says a verbal disagreement turned physical, when a member of Iron Order fired one time and struck a member of the Mongols. The fight continued with a member of possibly the Mongols club firing and striking an Iron Order member and grazing another member of the club.

Police said Derrick Duran, a Department of Corrections employee, killed Mendoza.

In his interview, Duran, an Iron Order member, told police he and his club buddies were done for the day and were leaving.

They started walking up the stairs.

He told investigators the Mongols were “detaining” half of his friends.

As the “highest ranking member” of the Iron Order present, Duran went to check what’s going on. He told police the Mongols told him to go back up the stairs. Duran tried to take his friends with him, “this is when the Mongols started physically striking them with closed fists and dragging them to the ground.”

Duran was hit in the head.

Duran told police he thought the Mongols were going to kill them.

He said he pulled out his gun and told everybody to leave them alone.

Duran goes on to tell investigators after he brandished his weapon, he and his Iron Order friends ran up the stairs, but Mongols chased them. Duran said they stopped because they realized one of their members was left at the bottom of the stairs.

Duran told police someone pointed a gun at him and shot. The bullet grazed him.  Before another man could get another shot off, Duran told police he shot him.

Duran told investigators the Mongols were not going to stop hitting him or stop chasing his crew.

He told police he was sorry a man died. He learned about the death from watching TV at the hospital. He said he didn’t know if he were the one who killed the person.

During his interview with investigator, Duran told police he was sorry for “how things played out, he didn’t mean for people to get hurt.”

The Denver District Attorney’s Office declined to prosecute him, saying Duran acted in self-defense.

According to the report, two undercover Jefferson County Deputies captured some of the shooting on “button cams.”

The report details the account of the fight from different people.

One of them, a member of Iron Order, told investigators about ten Mongols asked him and three of his buddies to get up the stairs.

“The Mongols began to surround the four of them and the guys upstairs came down the stairs,” the report reads. “One of the Mongols knocked the beer out of a member of [Iron Order’s hand]. He heard someone say ‘Expletive him’ and the Mongol swung at a [member of Iron Order].”

The man describes falling down the stairs or being grabbed, he was not sure which happened. He told police he was punched by “more than three Mongols in the head and face. He went to the ground and was kicked and stomped in the chest and head. He got up and heard a gunshot.”

All of the participants have nick names, such as Kong, Snydy, Woops, Cactus Jack.

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Anastasiya Bolton
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