Neighbors concerned about rising violence in Denver and Aurora

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DENVER -- Four shootings in less than 24 hours in Denver and Aurora over the weekend are sparking concerns about rising violence.


The first shooting happened about 7:15 p.m. Saturday and left a man dead in the 700 block of East 20th Street. Police said it started after a fight between two groups.

The second shooting involved a home invasion burglary in Green Valley Ranch early Sunday, where a homeowner with a long criminal record allegedly shot an intruder.

There was a third shooting about 15 minutes later on Gaylord Street that allegedly involved a gang argument police said.

Then a man was shot and killed on Uvalda Street at the Denver/Aurora border on Sunday afternoon.

Of the nearly 3,000 violent crimes reported in Denver this year, the most have occurred in the Five Points and Park Hill areas.

A makeshift memorial was placed outside a Five Points liquor store Monday. Witnesses said two groups got into a fight Saturday night, leaving one man dead.

"They were fighting over some drugs, some kind of a drug thing gone bad,” said a woman who claimed she saw the shooting.

Longtime neighbors said they worry about a growing trend of violence in the area.

"It's actually sad and it's scary,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified. “Because there's families who stay here with their kids and they got to sit there and watch the babies and everything else. It's sad where you can't even walk to the store or something and you're worried about getting shot at.”

On Friday, police and federal agents announced arrests in what they called an "indiscriminate level of gang violence" in Denver and Aurora.

Early Sunday, a man was on Gaylord Street near the National Western Stock Show complex during what neighbors said was a gang fight.

"A lot of the trauma that leads to the gang activity is just undealt with trauma in the black community,” said Sharletta Evans, who is a religion-based, anti-violence advocate.

Evans’ 3-year-old son Casson was shot to death in a fight between teenage gang members in 1995.

"My 3-year-old son died from the result of that lifestyle that gang lifestyle that foolishness of retaliation," Evans said.

"If you don't have any guidance and you don't appreciate life at all, you take it out on other people,” said Spencer Floyd Smith, who has lived in Five Points for 54 years.

"Well, it's sad, but you know it's a matter of ignorance, man,” said Kenneth Duncan, who lives near the shooting scene.

Police have issued a crime alert asking for any information about the shooting suspect at 20th and High.

Police said they're also looking for a man in his early 30s with a stocky build in the shooting on Gaylord Street.