Police Update On Darrent Williams Investigation

Taken from DENVERBRONCOS.COM.

What follows is the text of a press conference that Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson held after the recovery of the vehicle from which the shots that killed cornerback Darrent Williams were fired:

The vehicle was recovered this morning at 38th (Street) and Himalaya, in the Green Valley Ranch area. The vehicle was then transported and taken into evidence to be processed. We'll basically go through the vehicle and see what we can find (and see) what information we can glean from it, what information we can recover that may be relevant to these investigations we're looking at.

At this point in time, we're proceeding through the investigation methodically, basically talking to additional witnesses as they come forth. We're still asking for the public's help -- especially where this car is concerned. If anybody saw this car on the streets this morning or saw anybody driving this vehicle, please let us know.

SO YOU WERE LOOKING FOR SOMEONE TO CALL IN, AND SOMEONE CALLED IN THIS VEHICLE?

What we did was we put the vehicle (information) out yesterday (Jan. 3) and we received calls this morning concerning this vehicle. We recived several calls saying that they spotted this vehicle at 38th and Himalaya, and we went out there, observed the vehicle and determined that it was the vehicle we were looking for.

WAS THE VEHICLE BURNED, SPRAY-PAINTED -- WHAT CAN YOU TELL US?

It appears that there had been an attempt to disguise it. That's as far as we'll go. This goes into evidence. We don't want to talk about the evidence in this case or the status of the vehicle and the condition of it unitl we have a chance to process it.

HOW ABOUT AROUND THE CAR?

Right now, we're still trying to determine that. We don't know how long it had been there at this time. We're going to basically observe -- we processed the area as well, and we'll see what we can come up with.

TALK ABOUT THE MENTALITY OF THESE GUYS. YOU PUT THE WORD OUT ABOUT THE VEHICLE, THEY SPRAY-PAINT THE BACK LICENSE PLATE BUT LEAVE THE FRONT PLATE UNPAINTED. WHAT DOES THAT SAY TO YOU ABOUT THE MENTALITY OF THESE SUSPECTS?

Well, I can't confirm the condition of the car, like I said before. But it appears that these individuals did not want to be found by the steps they took to hide the vehicle. That's what I would say.

TRYING TO CONCEAL EVIDENCE IN THE VEHICLE?

Unfortunately, I'm not going to get into the condition of the vehicle or anything they did with the vehicle. At this point, I'm not going to talk about that. We're going to have to wait and see here. The vehicle was found on a residential street -- around the edge of a neighborhood. If you look at that area, it's kind of half-residential, half-industrial. It's right on the edge there.

DID YOU TALK TO THE NEIGHBORS AROUND WHERE THE CAR WAS FOUND?

We will. I'm sure we'll canvass the area and talk to the neighbors and see if they saw anything. We figure somebody might have seen this vehicle on the street, or might have seen someone getting out of this vehicle, and if they did, please notify the Denver Police Department right away.

SEEING A WHITE VEHICLE OR SEEING THIS SPRAY-PAINTED VEHICLE?

If you saw this vehicle, period. We put it out under multiple descriptions, so if you saw this vehicle, please let us know.

SO DOES THIS MEAN THE PERPETRATORS LIVE IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD WHERE THE VEHICLE WAS FOUND?

There's no reason to believe that. That's uncertain at this time.

DO YOU ANTICIPATE ISSUING ARREST WARRANTS?

It's hard to say. We're going to move through this investigation methodically. The officers have been working, as you know, around the clock on this investigation. Whether warrants will be issued or anything like that, we don't know at this time. It's basically moving through the process. This is basically another piece of evidence that we were looking for, and we've recovered it now. So we're going to go ahead, take that piece of evidence, process it, see what we can glean from it, and hopefully it will assist us in the investigation. Once again, like I said before, the public has stepped up. We put (the information about the car) out yesterday, and they came forth and spotted the vehicle this morning and let us know where it was. We came out; we've recovered it. We will go through it methodically. We will determine what's in there, what might help us with this investigation, and once we're done with that, we'll move to the next step.

HAS THE PUBLIC STEPPED UP WITH TIPS ON WHO THESE PEOPLE MIGHT BE?

We're not going to talk about what tips they're giving us. They're coming in; we're using them; we're taking each of these tips and we're basically investigating them.

BUT YOU'RE NOT HITTING A STONE WALL?

No, we're not hitting a stone wall. This is a very active, ongoing investigation. We're moving fluidly through it. I would say it's going well.

NO, WHAT I MEAN IS, HOW IS THE PUBLIC HELPING YOU OUT?

The public's been a great asset. From Day One, the public started calling us, giving us information, and we still need their assistance, because somebody knows who was in this vehicle and who was driving it. If they can come forth and tell us who that is, that will be a great asset to us.

IS BRIAN HICKS (THE NAME TO WHOM THE VEHICLE IS REGISTERED) AND HIS FAMILY COOPERATING WITH THIS INVESTIGATION?

Who are you speaking of? Brian Hicks -- I can't talk about that individual. That case involving Mr. Hicks is at the DA's office; you'd have to talk with them.

HOW FORTUNATE WAS IT THAT YOU FOUND THE CAR INTACT, THAT IT WASN'T BURNED OR DUMPED IN THE RIVER OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT:

Well, it's obvious -- if you have a piece of evidence that's intact, you have a chance to evaluate it and process it. Had something else been done to it, it'd be a little harder, but the fact that it is intact (means) we can process it. Had it been dumped or burned or something of that nature, that would have been a little harder.

ANY IDEA HOW LONG THE VEHICLE WAS LEFT AT 38TH AND HIMALAYA?

We don't know. We figure it hadn't been there very long, but we're basically going to have to do a timeline. If anybody drove through there yesterday and didn't see it, then that would narrow that down based on what the community is telling us.

STILL FINDING THAT WITNESSES ARE TERRIFIED TO COME FORWARD?

We've had people helping us all along with that investigation, so I don't know. Hopefully that fear has been allayed. We're going to get these individuals hopefully relatively soon. We hope that will happen. But as far as having fears or concerns, people have been coming forth all along, giving us information and assistance with this case. I think the community's outraged by what took place here, and I think that's why the people are coming forth and giving us information. I don't think they want to tolerate this kind of thing, therefore they've stepped up and they've been calling and saying, 'Hey, I think this; I think that.' I myself have personally received tips from people saying, 'Hey, you should check this out.'

HOW MANY OFFICERS WORKING THIS CASE?

It's a fluid situation. We have detectives working on this case, as well as a double homicide on Saturday that they're working. So it depends on what needs to be done. Officers may move from one case to the other, depending on what needs to be done. So this is a high-priority case, but the double homicide is very much a high priority, as well as any homicides that have taken place. They're all high priorities for us. This is one that's taken on a lot of notoriety in the community, but for those detectives up there, they're all high-priority.

ARE OTHER POLICE AGENCIES IN OTHER CITIES HELPING YOU?

I don't know that. I know that all of the Denver Police Department is looking at all of these investigations. You have to bring everything in from your fugitive units, your gang unit, all your various units to bring them in to assist on a case like this.

WHAT ABOUT OUT OF STATE?

I don't know that. I can't answer that for you.

THE IDENTITY OF THE PERSON TO WHOM THE CAR WAS REGISTERED:

Based on state statutes, we cannot identify an individual based on the license plate.

YOU WERE ASKED ABOUT WHO BRIAN HICKS IS?

I know who Brian Hicks is. He's been in the news media. We've had cases against Mr. Hicks. His cases are now at the district attorney's office, so anything concerning his cases, you need to talk to the district attorney's office.

HAS HICKS BEEN QUESTIONED IN REGARDS TO THIS VEHICLE?

I don't know that.

A MOTIVE OTHER THAN GANG-RELATED?

We've never said gang-related is a motive. We haven't ruled it out, nor have we ruled it in. We have to go through our investigation and we'll make that determination as we go through it. Right now, we have a homicide investigation. Regardless of who did it, it's a homicide. It doesn't matter whether it's a gang member or a guy in a suit and tie, it's a homicide investigation, and that's how we're going to look at it. It does not matter how we look at it. It's, 'Who killed this individual.' That's what matters. It doesn't matter whether it's gang-related or some guy in a business suit. We have to investigate it and come to the bottom line of who did this crime and bring this individual to justice.

ANY WEAPONS FOUND?

I don't know at this time. Any evidence in that vehicle -- it's in the process of being processed, so what's in there and what's going on, I don't know. We will not talk about it. If we did know that, we wouldn't release it, because it is evidence in this case.

ANYTHING YOU'VE GLEANED FROM SURVEILLANCE VIDEO IN CLUB AND ON STREETS:

Once again, it's evidence in the case, so they're not letting me know what they found on those tapes -- (whether) they found anything or nothing. They have not released that. It basically comes down to evidence and they're not saying at this point.

WHAT WOULD THE BEST-CASE SCENARIO BE OUT OF THE VEHICLE?

The best-case scenario? I was going to be flippant and say, 'A note saying, 'I did it.' But no, the best-case scenario would basically be information that leads to the suspects who committed the time.

RESOURCES AVAIALBLE TO WITNESSES WHO MIGHT FEEL THEY NEED SOME KIND OF PROTECTION?

You can call in on the CrimeStoppers line with anonymity. That's always there for you. You can call (720) 913-STOP (7867). You have anonymity. You can leave your information there and not release any additional information (about your identity). If you think you know something, you can always call and be anonymous. The caller about this car this morning was anonymous. They asked for anonymity and they have that.

SOME COMMUNITY LEADERS SAID YESTERDAY THEY WOULD GO DOOR TO DOOR TO TRY AND HELP YOU GUYS OUT -- IS THAT A HELP OR A HINDRANCE?

I don't know. I'd have to sit back and see what the homicide detectives think about that. I think any time you can motivate someone to give you information pertinent to your investigation, it's a help.

HOW WOULD YOU CATEGORIZE THE DEPARTMENT'S POSITION RIGHT NOW -- CLOSE TO AN ARREST, CLOSER TO AN ARREST --

I can't say; what I would say is that they are keeping this close to the vest and they are moving forward with the investigation methodically. These guys are working around the clock; they're working very hard. Whether they're close or far away, I don't know, but they're working it hard, I can tell you that.

WOULD YOU SURMISE THE SUSPECTS WERE SCARED OR DESPERATE BECAUSE THEY LEFT THEIR CAR?

I think based on what we understand, it's an act of desperation. To abandon the vehicle in the middle of nowhere, I think that's the act of desperation. But at the same time, you commit a crime like this, you're going to do some desperate things.

ADDITIONAL REWARD FOR INFORMATION LEADING TO CATCHING THE SUSPECTS?

That wouldn't be something that would come out of our office. If there is, we'll let you know right away. That's a situation where, in a lot of cases, they have upped the reward. It'd be nice if somebody did, but it has not happened at this time, so there is the traditional $2,000 via CrimeStoppers being offered, and like I said, if someone has information and wants to be anonymous, call the CrimeStoppers line: (720) 913-STOP (7867). You have anonymity there. You don't have to worry about somebody knowing who you are.

CALL THIS MORNING: CRIMESTOPPERS OR 911?

I believe that came into 911. I believe that was the standard call that came in -- 'Hey, I spotted the vehicle at 38th and Himalaya.' We responded out there, identified the vehicle and confirmed that it was the vehicle of interest that we were looking for.

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