A woman shot five people outside country singer Dierks Bentley’s crowded Denver bar Saturday after she was denied entry from the hotspot.
Denver police are searching for the suspect who is still on the loose five days after the mass shooting outside Whiskey Row, located on a busy nightlife corridor in the city’s downtown.
The woman may have been aiming at the bar’s security personnel who had stopped her from entering the Market Street bar because they suspected she was using another person’s ID, investigators told KDVR.
She left the line of people waiting to get inside and then turned back, pulled out a gun and began spraying bullets toward the country music club at around 11:15 p.m., Denver Public Safety told the local Fox affiliate station.
The shooter instead struck five bystanders who were outside the bar at the time and are not believed to have been the intended targets, police said. All five are expected to survive their injuries.
A man working security for a bar across the street told the local station that he heard six gunshots ring out. He rushed everyone on the sidewalk in front of his bar inside and locked the doors.
“I was standing right here and I heard six gunshots,” Andrew Reader told KDVR. “My initial reaction, my goal, was to get all these people to safety.”
He said staffers ushered patrons towards the back of the bar and had everyone exit out the backdoor once police deemed it was safe.
A woman who was waiting in line to enter Whiskey Row behind the suspect told Denver7 people began screaming and running when the gunfire broke out.
“It happened really fast,” Madison Sharnowski told the local ABC news affiliate station, adding that she at first froze when she heard seven or eight gunshots. “In that moment, it’s like flight or fight response.”
She said she was thankful her and her friends were not wounded as a woman in front of her party and behind them were each shot.
“I’m extremely grateful to be here. And to be OK, and that all of my friends are also OK. But it’s a traumatic experience to go through, especially for the five victims that were hit,” she said.
Sharnowski said most of the victims had appeared to have been shot in the legs.
She stayed with one of the victims, a young woman who was shot through her ankle until an ambulance arrived and helped her call her mother.
“You really don’t know how you’re gonna respond until it happens. And hopefully, it’s not something that you ever really have to respond to,” Sharnowski said.
Denver police released a photo of the suspected shooter on Monday and is offering a $2,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.
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