Suspected Burglars Shot at Denver Construction Site

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Denver police say two men were shot and killed Sunday afternoon after breaking into a construction site on the city's southwest side. At the moment no arrests have been made, and based on the initial reporting by police it sounds like charges may not be filed at all, given the shooter's self-defense claim.


The Denver Police Department just after 2:30 p.m. Sunday on X reported the shooting in the 8500 block of West Belleview Avenue in the Marston neighborhood. 

Responding officers found two people who had been shot. One of them, a man, died at the scene, and a woman was taken to a hospital and died there, according to the police department news release.

The location is a construction site, and police believe the site manager arrived at the location and found the two people inside, possibly burglarizing the location, according to the news release. A “confrontation” between the two people and the site manager happened, and the site manager was assaulted.

Police haven't released the identities of either those killed or the construction manager who shot them, but they did tell reporters that the man didn't draw his firearm until after he was assaulted. At that point, he had every reason to believe that his life was in danger, and would have been well within his rights to defend himself with deadly force. 

About 15 percent of Colorado's adult population currently possesses a concealed carry license, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center, but the state's Democratic majority is trying to reduce those numbers this session. Bills have been introduced to enact multiple new "gun-free zones" and require live-fire training for all carry applicants going forward.

Gun owners would need to complete an in-person class, pass a written test and show competence when using their firearm to apply for a concealed carry permit with their local sheriff under the proposal.

“This policy is key to make sure our concealed carry permits are well-regulated and ensures that those applying for these first time-permits or renewals understand the importance in safety of concealed carry,” House Majority Leader Monica Duran, a Wheat Ridge Democrat, said. 

Sponsors hope the bill will establish a minimum standard for concealed carry instruction.

“Right now, we have training courses all over the state of Colorado that have varying aspects. We’re trying to bring the right amount of uniformity to make sure there is a core amount of education and training that happens. At the same time, we’re not trying to be over prescriptive,” Democratic Rep. Marc Snyder of Manitou Springs said.

House Bill 24-1174 sets specific curriculum and structure guidelines for concealed carry permitting classes. Right now, the structure and length of those classes are up to individual instructors — some are just a few hours and not all include shooting time. Under the bill, an in-person class would need to be at least eight hours long and cover safe handling, storage, shooting fundamentals, state and federal firearm laws and confrontation management.


The live-fire mandate, along with two hours of classroom training, would also be required for anyone trying to renew their existing carry license. One firearms instructor who testified against the House bill called it a "solution in search of a problem", and it's hard to dispute that characterization. There's no evidence whatsoever that concealed carry holders are even minor contributors to the steady increase in violent crime seen across the state over the past decade, but the proposed training mandates still treat lawful gun owners as if they're more dangerous than the carjackers, home invaders, and burglars who truly have made the state a more dangerous place during the past ten years. 

HB 24-1174 is scheduled for a hearing in the House Finance Committee next week, and even though it's been watered down a bit it still represents a direct threat to the right to carry in Colorado. Criminals might be cheering the prospects of passage, but the state's concealed carry holders should be on red alert over the potential harm that's on the horizon; not only through the proposed training requirements, but the host of "gun-free zones" that some Democrats are hoping to enshrine into law. 

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