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The large crowd outside Larimer Beer Hall on July 17 scattered after three Denver police officers fired at 21-year-old Jordan Waddy and injured six bystanders. (Screenshot from Denver Police Department surveillance footage)

A Denver police officer who fired at an armed man and into a crowd in downtown Denver — wounding six bystanders — pleaded not guilty Friday. 

A judge scheduled a trial for Brandon Ramos to begin Feb. 20. A grand jury earlier this year indicted Ramos on 14 charges, including several counts of reckless and knowing assault and reckless endangerment and prohibited use of a weapon. 

Ramos, 29, appeared in Denver District court Friday for the 12-minute hearing. 

The shooting happened July 17, 2022, at about 1:30 a.m. as people poured out of nightclubs and onto the sidewalk outside Larimer Beer Hall near the intersection of Larimer and 20th streets. As Ramos and two other Denver police officers fired seven rounds at 21-year-old Jordan Waddy on the sidewalk, body camera footage showed dozens of people scattering to the street and some crawling across the sidewalk trying to seek cover behind a food truck.

Six bystanders were hurt, with injuries ranging from superficial cuts and graze wounds to more serious arm and leg injuries. Five of the six are suing Ramos for their injuries. 

Police previously said Ramos, who was hired by the department in 2019, was aware of the people standing behind Waddy before he shot. A grand jury and Denver District Attorney Beth McCann called Ramos’ decision to shoot “reckless, unreasonable and unnecessary for the purpose of protecting himself or other officers” and said he “consciously disregarded an unjustifiable risk of injury to the crowd.” 

The grand jury and McCann said the other two officers involved do not face criminal charges because they used a degree of force that “was reasonably necessary” to defend themselves and put no one else at risk.

Olivia Prentzel covers breaking news and a wide range of other important issues impacting Coloradans for The Colorado Sun, where she has been a staff writer since 2021. At The Sun, she has covered wildfires, criminal justice, the environment,...