Tribal leader dies after attending DNC

Sept. 4, 2008 at 2:25 PM
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DENVER, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A California tribal leader has died following an altercation in Denver where he had just attended the Democratic National Convention, police say.

Denver police spokesman Sonny Jackson said Gabriel Pico, the leader of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians in Southern California, apparently died of injuries he suffered during a brawl with a bouncer at a Denver strip club, The Denver Post said Thursday.

Jackson said details of Saturday's incident were not available and an exact cause of death was pending medical tests.

A statement from Pico's tribal band said in a statement Tuesday the head of their tribal council "suffered a heart attack early Saturday morning in Denver following the Democratic National Convention."

Tribal council chairman Mark Macarro added in the statement that Pico's death was a "big loss" for the tribe, the Post reported.

"This is a big loss for our tribe," Macarro said. "Though Gabe had only been in office a few weeks, it was evident that he was a tremendous asset to the council and the tribe. He will be missed dearly."

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