Crime concerns along East Colfax Avenue on the rise after deadly shooting

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DENVER -- Saturday’s deadly shooting at Colfax Avenue and Pennsylvania Street is the latest in an uptick of violent crime along one of Denver’s busiest streets.

Many neighbors are describing a half a mile stretch between Ogden Street and the State Capitol as a “danger zone.”

Police crime statistics are proving perception is the reality.

“I don’t feel safe,” resident Mark Dalbes said. “My friends come over … they don’t like it.”

The deadly shooting on Saturday is the second in two months at Colfax and Pennsylvania. The violence is serving as a wake-up call for many neighbors and business owners.

“It’s been guns and shootings -- of that nature -- in the past four months, more so than anything else,” X Bar manager Dustin Orgill said.

X Bar employees said they work hard to keep illegal drugs and guns away from their business. Safety is their top priority.

“It’s always been a little scary for employees,” Orgill said. “We make sure we walk everyone to their cars and everything at the end of the night.”

Over the past year, police statistics show more than 80 violent crimes between Ogden Street and the State Capitol along the Colfax corridor. Those crimes include murder, robbery and aggravated assault, according to the Denver Police Department.

Even with an uptick in crime, business owners say they still see plenty of business. Crystal Vaccaro is one of the many not letting the area’s reputation scare her away.

“Once you get to Colfax, you finally find some diversity,” Vaccaro said. “I think it’s very healthy. People can be very uncomfortable with that.”

Vaccaro said she feels safe during the day with District 6 police headquarters nearby, but she tries to stay away from Colfax at night.

Police said they plan to continue their focus on narcotics in the area and add more foot a bike patrols.

Officers are still looking for the suspect from Saturday's deadly shooting. Anyone with information is urged to call Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

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