DENVER (KDVR) — It isn’t Five Points or East Colfax driving Denver’s homicide rates this year. It’s Montbello.
The last three years in Denver have seen record numbers of violent crime, including murders. This year, city core neighborhoods still have the greatest number of homicides, but even those are not as tightly located as half a dozen murders in Montbello.
The neighborhood is pressed between the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Park to the north and Interstate 70 to the south, between Peoria Street to the west and Chambers Road to the east. It is one of Denver’s more economically depressed areas, with a lower-than-average income.
There have been six homicides in this neighborhood alone in 2023, including four which happened blocks from each other.
“There is no connection between any of the cases with all occurring independently of the other incidents,” said Doug Shepman of the Denver Police Department. “Two of the incidents listed below, Atchison Way and E 50th Ave, involved a victim and offender who were not previously known to each other. The others were family members, spouses or associates. We do not believe there is a gang nexus in any of these homicides.”
None of the homicides have happened at the same time, rather, they have been regularly spaced out throughout 2023, with the first occurring on Jan. 11 and the most recent occurring on April 8. So far this year, the Montbello neighborhood has not gone more than four weeks without a murder.
This is not to say Denver’s city core neighborhoods have been violence free in 2023.
The next-most concentrated area of crimes is spread across the city’s nightlife hubs — Globeville, Five Points, Union Station, North Capitol Hill, Civic Center and Lincoln Park. Seven murders in total have been located in these neighborhoods this year.
The nightlife area south of Coors Field has been the location of two murders. The Renaissance Riverfront Lofts — an affordable housing development near RiNo managed by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless — has been the location for one of the Globeville murders. Another two murders were committed blocks from Civic Center Park.