Denver police officer indicted over shooting that left at least 5 people injured
The grand jury heard testimony from 17 witnesses.
A Denver police officer was indicted on two felony counts in connection with an on-duty shooting that left multiple bystanders injured over the summer, the city district attorney's office told ABC News.
A grand jury charged the officer, Brandon Ramos, with two counts of second-degree assault, both felonies, and 12 misdemeanor counts: six counts of third-degree assault; one count of prohibited use of a weapon, and five counts of reckless endangerment, according to the indictment.
According to Denver District Attorney Beth McCann, the grand jury heard testimony from 17 witnesses and reviewed 140 exhibits of evidence.
"I want to thank the members of the grand jury who have spent many days over the last several months listening to testimony and examining exhibits," McCann said in a press release on Wednesday. "This is a very serious matter and I appreciate the time and attention each of them devoted to this important decision. The case will now move forward in the courts."
Ramos and two other officers were in the lower downtown area of Denver around 1:30 a.m. on July 17 when they attempted to arrest Jordan Waddy, who allegedly tried to flee after an altercation outside of a bar, according to the indictment.
The two other officers caught up to the suspect and were directly in front of Waddy when he allegedly reached for his gun inside his hoodie, resulting in them firing their guns six times in the suspect's direction. From their view, the bar and a brick wall were behind Waddy, the indictment reads.
The grand jury determined that the two other officers were legally justified in their actions, McCann said.
According to the indictment, Ramos fired at Waddy when there was a small crowd of people near the suspect, allegedly injuring at least five people.
The district attorney's office told ABC News that other bystanders were injured during the incident, but only five were connected to Ramos' alleged actions.
ABC News has not yet identified his attorney. The Denver Police Department and the Denver Police Protective Association did not return ABC News' requests for comment.
The Denver Police Protective Association told ABC News in a statement it would continue supporting Ramos and said the situation could have been avoided if Waddy had cooperated with officers.
"To charge this officer with a felony crime, jeopardizing his career and liberty for acting as he was trained and in the public interest, with no malice, ill intent or lack of concern is unfortunate and sad," the DPPA said.
In a statement to Denver ABC affiliate KMGH, Mayor Michael Hancock called the jury's decision surprising.
"Police officers make split second decisions under difficult circumstances on a daily basis, and those decisions are rooted in keeping people safe," Hancock said. "While the situation remains an unfortunate one, and it's regrettable that innocent bystanders were injured, I'm surprised to see that the grand jury found the officer's actions involved criminal intent."
Waddy was charged with three felony counts of possession of a firearm as a previous offender and one misdemeanor count of third-degree assault. Public defenders representing Waddy did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
Attorneys for Waddy said at a court hearing in August that the evidence they reviewed doesn't support the claim that Waddy threatened officers with a gun, according to the Denver Gazette.
In a statement to ABC News, Denver-based civil rights law firm Rathod Mohamedbhai, representing three shooting victims, said it was pleased over the decision to indict.
"Yekalo Weldewihet, Bailey Alexander, and Willis Small IV, three victims of the LoDo shooting, are relieved that a Grand Jury indicted Denver Police Department Officer Brandon Ramos for his reckless actions endangering not only our clients but the Denver community," the firm said in a press release.
"We think the grand jury decision is certainly indicative of the accountability that our community deserves and should have," Ciara Anderson, an attorney at Rathod Mohamedbhai, told ABC News.