MORRISON, CO — Police took extraordinary steps to attempt to locate a suspect at a concert, searching thousands of vehicles at a mandatory checkpoint.
The incident took place in the late hours of Thursday, June 19th, at the Red Rocks Amphitheater in Morrison, Colorado. The peace was breached when a SUV containing one of the headline artists of the evening’s concert was the target of a shooting on the road leading away from the venue.
The occupants of the vehicle received non-life-threatening injuries, and the suspect was seen running away on foot into the darkness.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department launched a manhunt for the suspect, who was described only as a black man, approximately 6 foot tall, wearing black clothing. Deputies went back to the Red Rocks Amphitheater imposed a “lockdown,” setting up a mandatory stop-and-search checkpoint for all remaining vehicles attempting to leave the concert.
Witness accounts, including a CBS reporter on the scene, stated that vehicle searches took place and drivers were forced to produce ID.
Every car leaving #redrocks is being searched, line is starting to move. Cars parked in south lots cannot leave at this time. — Souls In Action (@soulsinaction) June 20, 2014
@DenverPolice ofcrs manning checkpoint Gate 1 #redrocks. Searching vehicles and checking ID of departing concertgoers pic.twitter.com/fNcNkJHBro
— Rob McClure (@RobCBS4) June 20, 2014
A representative from the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department also confirmed that the mass search was taking place:
Large police presence at Red Rocks Park due to shooting. All “concert goer” cars in the park being searched. #JCSO #Jeffco
— Jeffco Sheriff (@jeffcosheriffco) June 20, 2014
The lockdown left people trapped inside the parking lot for over 2 hours following the end of the concert. This not only exposed them to the warrantless searches of police officers, but also left them helplessly trapped in proximity to the actual shooter.
It is unclear how the police expected to locate the vaguely-described suspect. A black male wearing black clothing at a rap concert could describe numerous individuals.
Unsurprisingly, the extraordinary measures produced no suspects or arrests.
Coloradans are not strangers to the police treating everyone like criminals in the effort to solve a crime. Cops in Aurora recently barricaded an intersection and ordered dozens of people from their cars as they stared down the barrel of officers’ shotguns and rifles, in order to find a robbery suspect.