Shotgun Willie’s Wrongful Death Suit Expands And Explodes – Glendale Cherry Creek Chronicle

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by Valley Gadfly | Aug 26, 2022 | Main Articles
Pre-Trial Twists And Turns
Was It Wright Or The Bartender Who Applied A Headlock/Chokehold?
by Glen Richardson
Non-Party at Fault: Ibrahim Mazgaldzhiev, a European immigrant, shown unconscious after allegedly suffering from being assaulted by Wright and Liprando at Shotgun Willie’s on May 2, 2019. Attorneys for the Wright family and Liprando assert that Mazgaldzhiev was at fault.
The highly publicized wrongful death suit brought by attorney Donald Sisson on behalf of the family of the deceased Kroger (parent company of King Soopers) executive Randall Wright against the strip club Shotgun Willie’s has taken many twists since being introduced in 2019. The attorneys for Shotgun Willie’s say in pleadings that the key fact is that the enhanced video shows it was not its bartender who had a headlock/choke hold on Randall Wright, but Wright who had a much smaller European immigrant in a headlock/choke hold.
Shotgun Willie’s claims the bartender was trying to prevent Wright and his cohorts, who allegedly started a fight over a dancer, from injuring or killing the immigrant.
Sisson’s Version
Sisson told a much different story to the press, including Westword, even before filing a lawsuit against Shotgun Willie’s and the bartender involved, Derek Hendricks. Sisson claimed that on the night of May 2, 2019, Randall Wright, a good family man with a wife and two teenage sons, went with business friends to the Glendale establishment to celebrate one of their birthdays.
According to Sisson an inebriated and obnoxious customer harassed the group and threw a punch at Randall Wright. In self-defense, Wright tried to retaliate, and they moved down a ramp. However, Hendricks, the bartender at Shotgun Willie’s, tackled him and Hendricks applied a choke hold and laid on top of him which resulted in Wright’s death.
Sisson’s version of the events appeared in the August 20, 2019, edition of Westword, in the story titled “Inside Randall Wright’s Apparent Chokehold Death at Shotgun Willie’s” with a picture of Wright and his family complete with a link to a blurry video.
Despite a public campaign by Sisson to get Hendricks criminally charged for the incident, the Arapahoe County DA refused to do so citing,
The Deceased: Randall Wright, an executive at Kroger, who died in the altercation at Shotgun Willie’s on May 2, 2019. The attorney for the Wright family called him “a good family man” but discovery in the litigation has brought out alleged evidence of a dark side of Wright.
inter alia, the defense of self-defense of others.
A Heavily Intoxicated Wright And The Black Suit Pack
Over the next two years a much different picture has emerged according to the pleadings, depositions, and discovery brought by Hendricks’ and Shotgun Willie’s attorneys. It was Randall Wright who was heavily intoxicated that night registering a Blood Alcohol Level (BAC) of 0.238 according to hospital records.
In Colorado and all 50 states, a driver who registers 0.08 or above is subject to arrest for drunk driving. At Wright’s BAC level, according to BAC charts, it causes “nausea, vomiting, emotional swings, anger or sadness, partial loss of understanding, impaired sensations, decreased sensations and possibility of stupor.”
The other men involved were not ordinary businessmen. According to pleadings “all of the men were tall and physically imposing.” The “men typically dressed in all black and had been known in the local bar community as the ‘Black Suit Pack.’”
Liprando Brought Into The Suit
Third Party Defendant: John Liprando, a partner in the commercial real estate brokerage firm of SullivanHayes, was named as a third party for contribution or indemnity in the wrongful death lawsuit against Shotgun Willie’s over the death of Randall Wright on May 2, 2019.
One of the “Black Suit Pack,” John Liprando was brought into the suit by Hendricks pursuant to an “Amended Third-Party Complaint for Contribution or Indemnity” and described in the complaint as “reputed to be physically aggressive in public, with a tendency to escalate verbal altercations into physical fights. He is a former professional hockey player for the NHL minor league team, the Oshawa Generals, and bragged he had been an ‘enforcer’ who would regularly get into fights on the ice. He had been a boxer as a teen and later trained as a kickboxer.” Liprando is a partner in the commercial real estate brokerage firm of SullivanHayes.
Hendricks’ Third-Party Complaint asserted that while the Pack had only one drink at Shotgun’s some of the members of the Pack, including Wright, had been drinking heavily before coming to Shotgun Willie’s including at Rome’s Saloon in Denver, that “promotes scantily clad waitre
The Bartender: Derek Hendricks is a manager and sometimes bartender at Shotgun Willie’s who jumped over the bar allegedly to stop the Black Suit Pack from assaulting Mazgaldzhiev and who was sued by the Wright family in the death of Randall Wright. He is pictured with his girlfriend, Sara Davis.
Wright, it turns out, may not necessarily have been the “good family man,” at least as that term is traditionally understood. The video shows him texting from his phone, which turns out to be another woman, Chelsea Worthington, a waitress and bartender at Rome’s Saloon where he had been drinking alcohol heavily prior to continuing on to Shotgun Willie’s. He had previously propositioned her, according to Ms. Worthington’s deposition taken August 16, 2022, for a “dominant/submissive intimate sexual relationship.” When she said she didn’t know exactly what that was, “he told [her] to look it up.”
According to the deposition, their dominate/submissive relationship involved, “anal sex,” “putting her underwear in [her] mouth,” “bondage,” “ropes,” and “vibrators.” Ms. Worthington said he would write on her “back” or “butt” such things as “Randy’s property” or “Randy’s slut.”
At the time of his texting from Shotgun Willie’s she was trying to get him back into a “sexual relationship.”
She indicated at the time that he had yet another woman outside of his marriage and both of them apparently attended his funeral.
Liprando In Turn Blames City Of Glendale And Its Police Chief

Hot Spot: Rome’s Saloon promotional photo of two of its staff members who dress in different scantily clad outfits for different days of the week. Alleged paramours of Wright worked Rome’s Saloon where he drank heavily before going to Shotgun Willie’s on the night of May 2.
Liprando through his attorney Mark R. Levy has filed a “Designation of Non-Parties at Fault.” The pleading states that the much smaller European immigrant Mazgaldzhiev “instigated the altercation by harassing and assaulting Mr. Wright and Mr. Liprando causing them to defend themselves from bodily harm.”
Glendale P.D.: Attorneys for John Liprando have designated the Glendale Police Department and its chief, Joe Haskins, as non-parties at fault in the death of Randall Wright.
Liprando also named the City of Glendale Police Department and Glendale Chief of Police Joe Haskins both in his personal capacity as well as his professional capacity. The Designation asserts that they both were “assuming the role of advising Shotgun Willie’s management, owners and staff on security protocols.” Moreover, Liprando’s Designation states that the Glendale Police Department and Chief Haskins had promised the department would “respond to incidents within 30 seconds” but failed to do so in Wright’s case.
The Headlock/Chokehold
Many legal experts think the crucial evidence will be what the jury believes the video shows. Is it as Liprando and the Wright family claim, that Mazgaldshiev instigated the altercation causing them to defend themselves from bodily harm and the bartender applying a chokehold to Wright. Or does the video show as Hendricks and Shotgun Willie’s attorneys assert that the “Black Suit Pack” were the ones that surrounded the much smaller Mazgaldzhiev and shoved him into a corner, and when he tried to escape Wright punched him in a fit of rage. They further assert that when Mazgaldzhiev tried to flee, Liprando and Wright pursued him with Liprando grabbing him which allowed Wright to put him into a headlock.
The expert hired by Hendricks and Shotgun Willie’s, Jonathon L. Arden, M.D., in an Affidavit attached to the Third-Party Complaint opined that the actions of Wright “would not result in asphyxia” death to Wright but Wright’s death was “due to a suffered cardiac death that resulted from his underlying hypertensive cardiovascular disease exacerbated by the physiological and emotional stresses of the altercations in which he was engaged.”
The experts for Liprando and the Wright family contend Wright died from asphyxia caused by the chokehold from Hendricks and Hendricks lying on top of him.
The Trial
The trial will occur in the 18th Judicial District of Arapahoe before Judge Peter F. Michaelson starting November 11, 2022, and is scheduled for an eight-day trial.
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