“As far as what led up to this altercation that resulted in the shots being fired, that’s still under investigation at this time,” police spokesperson Doug Schepman said. “It did occur in the area where we had largest gathering of folks celebrating during the night.”
The shooting occurred nearly four hours after the Nuggets completed a 94-89 win in Game 5 to capture their first NBA title.
The Denver Police Department said three people were in critical condition. The Associated Press reported that a suspect was taken into custody, and he was among seven people who suffered injuries that are believed to not be life-threatening.
It was a difficult ending to what had been a spectacular night for the Nuggets and their fans, who were thrilled to see their team raise the championship trophy for the first time in 47 NBA seasons.
Game 5 was a grinding affair as the Nuggets scored the fewest points in a game they had this postseason. But that struggle only made the celebration inside the arena even sweeter, with postgame confetti raining down on the champions amid cheers from a delirious crowd.
Denver center Nikola Jokic capped a historic playoff run by being named Finals MVP. The 28-year-old became the first player to lead the league in points, rebounds and assists in a single postseason.
The Nuggets won 10 of their last 11 games and were 16-4 in the playoffs, with series wins against the Minnesota Timberwolves and Phoenix Suns before a sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers in the Western Conference Finals.
The Heat were trying to become the first No. 8 seed to win the NBA championship, but they stalled out in the Finals after winning Game 7 of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics to avoid what would have been a historic collapse. Miami also recently lost the NBA Finals in 2020.
The Colorado Avalanche, also owned by Nuggets owner Stan Kroenke, won the Stanley Cup championship last season. The Nuggets reached the ABA Finals in the final season of that league and now join the San Antonio Spurs as the only former ABA teams to win an NBA championship.