DENVER – Police feared a “Las Vegas-style shooting” during the All-Star Game in Denver after receiving a tip from a housekeeper working at a hotel not far from Coors Field. The hotel employee discovered more than a dozen weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition inside one of the rooms Friday night.
Multiple informed law enforcement sources connected with the investigation told Denver7’s Liz Gelardi and Denver7 chief investigative reporter Tony Kovaleski that they found the weapons inside a room on the eighth floor of the Maven Hotel as All-Star Game celebrations got underway.
Sources said police removed 16 long guns, body armor and hundreds of rounds of ammunition from the room which featured a balcony overlooking the downtown area. The sources said they feared the number of weapons, ammo, vantage point and large crowds could have resulted in a "Las Vegas-style shooting."
Based on the information provided by the hotel employee, police executed a search warrant and found the guns, ammo, body armor and a man inside the room on the eighth floor.
One of the suspects arrested Friday night had posted a message on Facebook referencing a recent divorce and saying he was going to “go out in a big way,” according to the multiple law enforcement sources.
SWAT teams responded to the Maven Hotel and Wazee Street was closed to the public as investigators combed the scene. One witness saw a car being loaded on a flatbed. Other witnesses said Denver Chief of Police Paul Pazen was one of the law enforcement officials investigating the scene at the hotel.
In total, three men and one woman were arrested Friday night, along with two vehicles which were also impounded to be processed for possible evidence.
- Richard Platt, 42, for investigation of possession of a weapon by a previous offender, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute (two counts), and a warrant from another jurisdiction.
- Gabriel Rodriguez, 48, for investigation of possession of a weapon by a previous offender, possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.
- Ricardo Rodriguez, 44, for investigation of possession of a weapon by a previous offender.
- Kanoelehua Serikawa, 43, for investigation of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, and a warrant from another jurisdiction.
Platt appeared in court Sunday. A judge set his bond at $50,000, cash only. The other three suspects are awaiting on defense attorney assignments and did not appear before a judge Sunday. They are expected to appear in court Monday.
The judge who issued Platt's bond declined to give the suspect a lower bond amount in the interest of public safety and because she had concerns about the items located in the hotel room, she told Platt.
The Federal Bureau of Investigations released a statement Sunday, saying they are not aware of any threats to the All-Star Game and have no reason to believe Friday's arrests were connected to the event at this time.
"We have no reason to believe this incident was connected to terrorism or a threat directed at the All-Star Game. We are not aware of any threat to the All-Star Game events, venues, players, or the community at this time," the statement read.
FBI officials said the agency works closely with law enforcement during special events and are coordinating with the Denver Police Department in their investigation.
Maven Hotel released a statement Sunday morning, thanking its staff and DPD for their quick action:
"We are incredibly proud that our team swiftly alerted the authorities in this instance. We are thankful to DPD for their quick action to safely resolve this situation and will continue to work closely with them to support their investigation.”
The investigation is active and ongoing, and Denver police encourage anyone with information to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
“The investigation and arrests were the result of a tip from the public, serving as an excellent example of the critical role the community plays in public safety,” police said in a news release Saturday night. “DPD encourages residents and visitors to always be aware of their surroundings and to report suspicious or illegal activity to police immediately. Please call 911 for emergencies; the non-emergency number is 720-913-2000.”
Denver7 is working to learn more about these arrests, and if the suspects are connected to each other in any way.
Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show authorities found hundreds of rounds of ammunition in the hotel rooms.