DENVER (KDVR) — Last year’s violence isn’t slowing down this year, at least not in Denver. Shootings have skyrocketed in Colorado’s capital compared to the first months of previous years.
Last year saw one of the most dramatic increases in nationwide violent crime on record. Crime analyst Jeff Asher crunched data across several dozen large metro areas and found the murder rate up more than a third in most of them and considerably more for the majority.
This trend was everywhere. Colorado’s largest city saw one of the highest rate increases in its history and still only came midway in the list. Denver’s homicide rate went up 39% in 2020.
This year is turning our similarly.
According to Denver Police Department records, shootings and shootings victims this January were nearly triple what they were either of the previous two Januaries.
There were eight shooting victims in the month of January 2019, seven in the same month 2020 and 19 shooting victims in 2021. There were seven incidents where a victim was shot in 2019, six in 2020 and 17 in 2021.
This may be more of a large metro problem than a nationwide problem per se. Though there is a general increase in violent crime statewide, other Colorado cities are not seeing the same increase in shootings.
Lakewood Police Department has only responded to nine shootings this January, which is actually down from previous years. Both in January 2019 and 2020, LPD responded to 12 shootings.
Aurora was similar in having no rise in shooting victims. Aurora Police Department records have a combined five fatal and nonfatal shooting victims in January 2019, 15 in 2020 and ten in 2021.
Similarly, Colorado Springs appears to have had fewer shootings in January 2021 than previous years. CSPD data analysts do not track shootings the same was as Denver, but public gun crime data shows all gun assaults and gun homicides through the present.
Colorado Springs had 15 shootings in January 2019, 15 in January 2020 and ten in January 2021.
Likewise Pueblo’s shootings with victims this January is equal to that of January 2019.
Whatever is happening in Denver is keeping pace in other large cities. National data is scarce considering our closeness to January, but isolated reports from other metro areas are similar to Denver’s.
In Philadelphia, the number of shooting victims in January doubled this year. The number of shootings Portland police have responded to in January 2021 has nearly tripled since 2019. In South Los Angeles, shootings more than octupled during the first two weeks of January against last year. Louisville has started the year with a 67% increase in shootings.