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2 arrested in drive-by shooting near 16th Street Mall

Police said an off-duty officer saw the incident and began shooting at the vehicle.

DENVER — Two people have been arrested after shots were fired from a car in downtown Denver early Saturday morning, the Denver Police Department (DPD) said.

DPD said around 1:15 a.m. Saturday, a black sedan turned from Larmier Street onto 15th Street, and at least one of the people in the car pointed a gun out and began firing multiple rounds as the car went down 15th Street towards Market Street. 

Police said two suspects were identified Sunday and arrested Tuesday in connection with the incident. Alfredo Dozal and Tony Sanchez, both 21, were arrested in Westminster, police said. Each suspect is being held on five counts of attempted murder, according to police.

Police said multiple people were in the area and on the sidewalk as shots were being fired. DPD said no one was struck by the gunfire.

DPD said a uniformed officer working off-duty at a nearby nightclub fired shots at the person in the car who was firing the gun.

Officers tried to follow the suspects' car, but the driver sped away, DPD said. 

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Following the shooting, some bar owners said incidents like this will continue to happen until a change is made to bar close time. 

Steven Alix, who owns three bars on Colfax, including X Bar, The Squire Lounge and Tight End, has been advocating for a later time so that mass crowds of people are not leaving bars at the same time. He said those customers become "sitting ducks" that are vulnerable on the sidewalk all at once. 

"At 2 a.m., no one can get an Uber. The police can't keep up. So literally, people are out there sitting ducks. They can't get transportation. They can't get police help if they need it, so that's the best time to target them," Alix said. 

He said a change to bar close time would prevent the hour or so before closing from becoming a "dangerous time." In partnership with the Tavern League, Alix advocated for changing bar close time to state legislators a few years ago. The proposal received opposition from Mothers Against Drunk Driving and failed.

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