KU student injured in Denver shooting

Another Lawrence man still hospitalized after robbery Sunday at light-rail station

Trenton Foster’s spring break ended violently early Sunday with an armed robbery in a Denver light-rail station that left three friends with gunshot wounds.

“We couldn’t believe it was happening,” the Kansas University senior said Monday. “It was like a dream or something.”

Denver police say the incident involving Foster and his friends was the latest in what they think is a string of four violent robberies, with a total of six shooting victims, since Friday.

“Their descriptions are quite similar,” Denver police spokeswoman Virginia Quiñones said. She said all of the incidents, except for one, occurred between 5 a.m. and 5:20 a.m. and were in the same area.

Foster, his Lawrence roommate Ian Dumpert and KU student Joseph Kuebel had traveled to Denver and joined Kansas State University students Kenneth Giefer, Dakota Hensley and John Watt, who also were on spring break in the city.

The group gathered to hear the Boulder-based band Zilla perform at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom, a venue on the main strip of the Five Points downtown neighborhood. The group left the club about 4:30 a.m. Sunday, Foster said. A seventh man who had met up with the group joined them, but Foster could not recall his name.

The group headed to the nearby light-rail station but had trouble getting tickets from the machine, Foster said, and then walked to the next station only to find the second machine broken.

The young men then walked back to the first station and managed to buy their tickets when they were approached by two men wearing ski masks, Foster said.

The suspects, one wielding scissors and the other pointing a revolver, demanded money, Foster said.

The men emptied their pockets, handing over wallets, cell phones and other items.

Foster and Hensley, a K-State student, both said they recalled a slight pause before one of the men began shooting.

“They didn’t say anything,” Hensley said. “It was just a look. There may have been a nod.”

Dumpert, 22, was shot in jaw. Watt, 22, was hit with two bullets to the neck area, Foster said. He said the suspects began to flee, but turned and fired two more shots, one grazing the 23-year-old Kuebel in the leg, the other hitting him in the back.

The suspects were described as two black males in dark blue clothing and face masks.

“They were cool, calm and collected and knew exactly what they were doing,” Foster said of the suspects. “The worst part is we did everything they wanted. : We all had our hands in the air. None of us was going to make any attempts at them at all. They just shot them for the fun of it.”

Watt has been released from the hospital, but the two other shooting victims remain in the hospital. Foster said he expects Kuebel to be released soon, but Dumpert will need to undergo surgery on his jaw.

The group remains in the Denver area awaiting Kuebel and Dumpert’s releases from the hospital.

“Everyone’s OK,” Hensley said. “Everyone’s going to recover fully.”