Thirteen people have been killed so far in Denver this year, the most violent start to a year since 2010, and the killings are putting Denver on pace to have another year of rising homicide rates, the Denver Post reports. In 2017, there were 56 homicides in Denver, the same as 2016. Both were 10-year highs. In three of the homicide incidents so far this year, multiple people were killed, including the shooting death of two teenagers. “This past weekend is alarming to all of us,” said Donna Garnett, a community activist and editor of the Muse, a neighborhood newspaper. Police have not been able to pinpoint any patterns in the 2017 deaths, said Commander Barb Archer, who leads the Denver Police Department’s major-crimes unit.
In 2015, gang violence rocked Denver, accounting for 23 of the city’s 50 killings. In 2016, domestic violence drove up the homicide numbers after 10 of the 56 people killed were stabbed or shot by their intimate partners. One bright spot in the numbers has been the police department’s ability to make arrests in the cases. For 2017, the department has a 71 percent clearance rate. Arrests have been made in five of the nine incidents in 2018. Denver is far from reaching its all-time high in homicides. That number came in 1992, when 95 people were killed. People from neighborhoods that have experienced recent violence attended a march Tuesday afternoon, said Angelle Fouther of the Montbello Organizing Committee. “People want to take action,” she said. “We share the sentiment that No. 1, the gun violence is out of control. And No. 2, our youth are in the crossfire in more ways than one. It feels urgent. We don’t want this to be a trend in anyone’s neighborhood. We don’t want this to escalate.”