Breaking News
More () »

Indictment of Denver police officer in LoDo shooting elicits reactions of surprise, relief

The Denver Police Protective Association vowed to defend their officer with all available resources in relation to a shooting in LoDo that injured six bystanders.

DENVER — A Denver grand jury's indictment of a police officer in a shooting last year in lower downtown prompted mixed reactions Wednesday from Mayor Michael Hancock, the Denver Police Protective Association and three of the bystanders who were injured in the shooting.

A 14-count indictment was returned against Officer Brandon Ramos after jurors heard testimony from 17 witnesses and reviewed 140 exhibits. The charges include eight counts of assault.

DPD said Ramos will be suspended without pay due to the felony charges which is standard protocol. He hasn't been on patrol since the shooting. DPD said Ramos started his job with the department in 2019. 

Hancock expressed surprise at the news Wednesday of the indictment. He issued a statement calling the shooting "regrettable."

RELATED: Grand jury indicts Denver officer, calls actions in shooting that injured 6 'reckless 

“Police officers make split-second decisions under difficult circumstances on a daily basis, and those decisions are rooted in keeping people safe," Hancock said. "While the situation remains an unfortunate one, and it’s regrettable that innocent bystanders were injured, I’m surprised to see that the grand jury found the officer’s actions involved criminal intent."

He ended his statement by saying the city could not provide additional comments because there's now a pending criminal case.

Three of the six bystanders who were injured in the shooting – Yekalo Weldewihet, Bailey Alexander and Willis Small IV – said at a news conference at the office of their attorney, Siddhartha Rathod, that they were relieved at the indictment.

"This officer fired into a crowd of more than a hundred people and shot five of us," Alexander said, reading a statement. "We were all struck with a bullet from Officer Ramos' gun and it is by the grace of God that all three of us are able to stand here and talk to you today."

> Watch the full news conference:

According to DPD, officers saw Jordan Waddy, 21, shoving and punching another person in the early morning hours of July 17, 2021, outside Larimer Beer Hall. Waddy was the "aggressor" in the attack, hit the other man and had a gun.

DPD said Waddy pointed a gun at two officers, who each fired at him. One of those officers fired four rounds and the other fired twice, DPD said.

According to the indictment, Ramos was off to the side of Waddy and fired his weapon toward him twice. Six bystanders were injured. 

The grand jury found that Ramos "knew" there was a large crowd behind Waddy and said he "consciously disregarded an unjustifiable risk" to the crowd. He's now charged in relation to the injuries to five victims.

The Denver Police Protective Association said on Wednesday that they were "deeply saddened" for those wounded that night but called the decision to indict Ramos "unfortunate and sad."

> Listen to the full statement:

"While we respect the grand jury process, we will rigorously defend officer Ramos using every available resource at our disposal," said Tyson Worrell, the organization's president.

Worrell also attempted to shift blame to Waddy, the armed man that police were initially confronting.

"He should not have been able to walk the streets freely. He should not have possessed a firearm. And he surely should not have created the situation where innocent people were injured," Worrell said. "And law enforcement had to react when they were confronted by a man with a gun."

Worrell said the whole situation could have been avoided if Waddy had listened to officers and put up his hands.

"To charge this officer with a crime, jeopardizing his career, and liberty, for acting as he was trained and in the public interest with no malice, ill intent or lack of concern is unfortunate and sad," Worrell said. "We stand behind our officer. We remain confident when all evidence comes out it will be clear that officer Ramos is not a criminal."

A criminal case against Waddy is pending before Denver District Court. He is charged with three counts of possession of a firearm as a previous offender and one count of third-degree assault  His attorney has said previously that they planned to sue.

SUGGESTED VIDEOS: Investigations & Crime 


Before You Leave, Check This Out