AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Some violent crime in Aurora is on a downward trend so far this year, despite a violent weekend.
That may sound surprising to some people, especially after four shootings over the weekend in Colorado’s second-largest city.
Firearm-related murders and aggravated assaults peaked in February 2022 at 220, according to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. They’ve been trending down since then.
In January of this year, the number dropped to 124. Murders are down 33% in Aurora during the first two months of this year compared to last year. Non-fatal shootings are down 12.8% during the same time period.
But they are still at elevated levels that began in 2020.
Repeat gunfire near family’s backyard
Those stats may sound good on paper, but not in Alexzandra Henderson’s backyard. There were two shootings near Henderson’s home this past weekend.
“It’s scary because I was sitting in the kitchen when I heard gunshots Friday, three times. Then Saturday, I heard more gunshots sitting in the living room,” Henderson said.
She and her family are moving out of the East Montview Boulevard neighborhood. The violence, they say, is hard to forget.
“It was kind of like a ‘pop pop pop’ (of gunfire). But you can hear it’s one after another, round after another, and it sounded like it was literally in our backyard,” Henderson’s mother, April Garcia, said.
Aurora Police have new focuses for violent crime
But that’s not the case everywhere. Overall crime stats are trending downward.
Aurora interim Police Chief Art Acevedo acknowledged the lower crime rates. Acevedo also said the work is far from over.
In his office, he told FOX31 that a new team of detectives is working on shootings where no one has been killed.
“For the first time, we will have detectives that will roll to these scenes 24/7,” Acevedo said.
FOX31 also spoke to Aurora City Council Member Danielle Jurinsky, who chairs Aurora’s Public Safety Committee.
“We must not let up on the fight against crime. It is still too many murders, car thefts and robberies,” Jurinsky said.
‘It could happen to you’
Henderson and her family agree.
“Anything’s possible. It could happen to you. So, it’s just terrifying,” Henderson said.
She and her family are hoping to at least feel safer in her new home.
A spokesman for Aurora Police said new statistics will be available in the days to come and will show what impact this weekend’s shootings will have on the current data.
The chief also mentioned the department’s pursuit policy is about to change. Acevedo said the Department is working on a plan that would allow officers more freedom to chase suspects.