Police: Protester in US illegally shot toward police, TV choppers in Denver

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Denver Police advance after firing tear gas canisters during a protest outside the State Capitol over the death of George Floyd, a handcuffed black man in police custody in Minneapolis, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

DENVER (AP) — A man accused of firing his gun during a Denver protest in May made anti-police statements before shooting into the sky in the direction of police and television helicopters, according to a court document.

Felix Missael Alva of Aurora was arrested Monday and later appeared in federal court, where he has been charged with having a gun while being in the United States illegally. Investigators said Alva is a Mexican national who had been deported from the U.S. in 2010.

Colorado assistant federal defender Matthew Belcher represented Alva in court but his office does not discuss cases with the media.

Denver Police square off with participants during a protest outside the State Capitol over the death of George Floyd, Saturday, May 30, 2020, in Denver. Protests were held throughout the country over the death of Floyd, a black man who died after being restrained by Minneapolis police officers on May 25. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

The court document says Alva was riding in a white Jeep Grand Cherokee that pulled up near a plainclothes detective who was watching an area near the state Capitol for protest activity on May 30, the third night of demonstrations over the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and the first night of a city curfew.

Alva called to the detective, said “this ain’t no peaceful protest” and made some derogatory comments about police, including a reference to “pigs,” according to arrest affidavit. Alva is accused of firing six to 10 shots before the Jeep sped away.

Investigators used the Jeep’s license plate number to find Alva. A search of his home uncovered a .45 caliber handgun resembling the one the detective had seen, the affidavit said.

It said anti-police protest signs and artillery shell fireworks like the kind that were used against police during earlier protests were found in the Jeep.

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