Residents say deadly shooting on Colfax highlights area as high-crime corridor

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DENVER -- The officer-involved shooting outside a 7-Eleven on East Colfax Avenue and Pearl Street on Wednesday night is a reminder that Colfax Avenue from Broadway east to Downing Street remains a high crime corridor.

"Drugs, it's got to be drugs. I mean it has to be, that's all I see out here," said Mark Dalpes, who lives in an apartment above the 7-Eleven.

He rents his unit from the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless and says crime in the area seems to be getting worse not better.

"Unsafe. I hate living here. It's the only thing I can afford right now. It's a terrible neighborhood," said Dalpes.

"It's become very bad, very bad. From zero to 10, I'd give it a 10," said Lisa Sheets ranking the neighborhood where she sleeps on the sidewalk.

Sheets said she knew the robber shot dead by police, a man she identified only as Christopher, who Sheets said is homeless like herself and struggled with a drug addiction.

"I believe that there's so many lost souls out here, there are people out here that are getting hurt, killed, shot, robbed for no reason," said Sheets.

Wayne New is councilman for the 10th district, where the officer-involved shooting took place. He said the issues along Colfax boil down to two major issues.

"Primarily homelessness and drugs," he said.

New thinks it might be time to relocate the social service agencies clustered along Colfax Avenue that he believes attract addicts and the homeless.

He thinks those agencies should be closer to Denver Health Medical Center.

He claims his office has helped fund new LED lights for street corners and funding for police bike patrols.

The two officers who encountered the 7-11 robbery suspect were on bike patrol when the shooting broke out.

New said he's working to use city bond money to bring bus rapid transit, along with new housing and businesses to improve the area.

"The thing that's going to help reduce crime is the economic development aspect," New said.

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