Denver homicide rate increasing at alarming rate

DENVER -- FOX31 has new information from the Denver Police Department that shows homicide cases are up in the Denver metro area.

The number of homicides compared to this time last year has increased nearly 40 percent.

At this time last year, there had been 17 homicides in Denver. This year, there have been 27.

Police have an interactive map on its website that shows the areas with the highest concentration of homicides.

The Central Business District ranked No. 1 with two murders this year in a small area between Speer Boulevard and 20th Street and Arapahoe Street to Colfax Avenue.

Tanya Hemmings' daughter was shot and killed while sleeping in her bed near Alameda Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard in May 2017. She said something must be done to stop the violence.

“Boom, boom, boom, boom, boom,” Hemmings said.

Hemmings vividly remembers the night gunfire ripped through her family’s home as they were asleep.

“I crawled to the front room where the kids were at trying to get them all to the ground and she was already shot,” Hemmings said.

Thursday marks one year since that fateful night, when her 15-year-old daughter, Kashmier, was killed.

“She wasn’t ready to leave. She wasn’t. She had her whole life ahead of her,” Hemmings said.

Three months later, there was another tragedy. Hemmings' best friend was gunned down in Park Hill, near East 33rd Avenue and Hudson Street.

“They shot her in her stomach -- and took her away from her four kids,” Hemmings said.

Denver police officers are seeing an uptick in homicide rates in and around the metro area.

Neighbors living in Jefferson Park have also noticed the trend.

“We’ve been concerned with the increase in crime rates,” Brian Aggeler said.

Aggeler is planning to take action with police to form a neighborhood watch to try to decrease the crime on their streets.

“Have people get more involved to be more eyes and ears in the community,” Aggeler said.

While nothing will bring back Hemmings' daughter, she won’t stop searching for answers until an arrest is made in Kashmier’s case.

“Whatever I have to do, I’m not going to stop until I get justice for my daughter. This violence needs to stop. They’re just killing innocent people,” Hemmings said.

A virtual neighborhood watch is on the Next Door app. It’s a way to send out detailed alerts to neighbors when a concerning pattern or something suspicious is noticed.