Shooting in Denver wounds 9 people after Nuggets win NBA Finals; injured suspect in custody

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MAY 22: Head coach Michael Malone of the Denver Nuggets celebrates with the Western Conference Championship Trophy after defeating the Los Angeles Lakers in game four of the Western Conference Finals at Arena on M

DENVER (AP) — Nine people were wounded in a mass shooting early Tuesday in downtown Denver where basketball fans had been celebrating the Nuggets first NBA title win, police said. A wounded suspect was taken into custody.

Investigators believe multiple shots were fired in a dispute between several people roughly a mile from Ball Arena, where the Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat on Monday night.

The shooting happened at around 12:30 a.m. — about 3 1/2 hours after the game — and three of the wounded were in critical condition, the Denver Police Department said in a statement. The suspect, a man, was one of the seven people who suffered injuries believed to be non-life-threatening.

"As far as what led up to this altercation that resulted in the shots being fired, that’s still under investigation at this time," police spokesperson Doug Schepman said. A news conference was scheduled for 11:30 a.m.

"It did occur in the area where we had the largest gathering of folks celebrating during the night," he said, but the crowd had "diminished quite a bit at that point."

The gunfire broke out in downtown Denver’s LoDo district, which is known for its restaurants and nightlife. Shepman said a lot of people might have come out of bars after the game.

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DENVER, COLORADO - JUNE 12: Denver Nuggets fans celebrate in downtown Denver after the end of Game Five of the 2023 NBA Finals at Ball Arena on June 12, 2023 in Denver, Colorado. The Nuggets went on to beat the Miami Heat 94-89 to win their first NBA Championship in franchise history (Photo by Max Paro/Getty Images)

Yellow police tape sealed off the area overnight Tuesday as investigators scoured the scene, which was dotted with evidence markers and what appeared to be detritus left over from the celebrations, including an e-scooter and a green rental bike.

Police were interviewing witnesses and Schepman described the ongoing investigation as "expansive."

The shooting happened about a mile from Ball Arena, where the Nuggets defeated the Miami Heat on Monday night.

Eight people were hospitalized at Denver Health Medical Center — one in critical condition, one in fair and six in good condition, spokesperson Heather Burke said. She said questions about the two additional wounded people should be directed to police.