R.I.P. Rachel Aboytes, AKA Baby Smiley, Rap Artist Killed on Valentia Street (43)

Rachel Aboytes, also known as Baby Smiley, in a photo from her Facebook page. Additional images, plus videos and more below.
Rachel Aboytes, also known as Baby Smiley, in a photo from her Facebook page. Additional images, plus videos and more below.
Facebook

Update: Yesterday, we told you about two shootings near 16th and Valentia that left one woman dead and another injured.

The Denver coroner's office has now identified the woman who lost her life as Rachel Aboytes, 21, an aspiring rapper from Longmont who used the stage name Baby Smiley.

And while the Denver Police Department has not yet formally confirmed that the same shooter or shooters were responsible for both crimes, we now know that Aboytes and the thus-far-unidentified woman who was injured alongside her were together shortly before gunfire rang out.

Aboytes's Facebook page is filled with photos and graphics related to her hip-hop dreams.

Here' an example of the former....

Rachel Aboytes.
Rachel Aboytes.
Facebook

....as well as this image....

R.I.P. Rachel Aboytes, AKA Baby Smiley, Rap Artist Killed on Valentia Street (43)
Facebook

...epitomizing the latter.

Additionally, the page includes videos, such as this clip showing Baby Smiley in performance:

A friend of the other woman shot on Valentia between Colfax and 16th Street around 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24, told CBS4 that she and Aboytes were leaving a bar together when they were shot.

The second woman sustained non-life-threatening injuries and is expected to recover.

At this writing, there still have not been any arrests in the case, nor any named suspects.

The investigation is continuing.

In the meantime, there's already a tribute to Aboytes created by another artist, Wonderlox. See it below, followed by the aforementioned CBS4 report and our previous coverage.

Our sincere condolences to the friends, family and loved ones of Rachel Aboytes.

Original post, 5:40 a.m. March 25: Earlier this week, we told you about the third homicide on a single Aurora block over a six-month period.

Last night, a disturbingly similar pair of incidents took place within an even smaller time frame.

The scene following last night's shootings. Additional images, a video and more below.
The scene following last night's shootings. Additional images, a video and more below.
7News via YouTube

Two shootings happened on a block in Denver within minutes of each other.

The two victims were women, one of whom has died.

Here's what we know thus far.

First official word of the incident took place came with this tweet from the Denver Police Department.

A short time later, the location was pinned down to the 1500-1600 stretch of Valentia Street.

Here's an interactive graphic of the area; if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."

Media soon appeared at the scene, including Meagan Fitzgerald from 9News, who tweeted the following photo:

Meanwhile, the DPD offered this update.

Before long, more details began to emerge.

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According to 7News, gunfire rang out at about 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 24.

Police tell the station there were two separate shooting locations.

Police on the scene.
Police on the scene.
7News via YouTube

The first was near Valentia and Colfax.

The second took place at 16th Street and Valentia.

The woman shot at the latter spot didn't survive her injuries.

Another look at the scene.
Another look at the scene.
7News via YouTube

The one hit near Colfax is expected to recover.

At this writing, neither woman has been identified.

Neither have there been reports about arrests or suspect descriptions.

And police have not yet set whether they believe a single shooter or group of shooters was responsible for both incidents.

Police vehicles blocked access to the street after the shootings.
Police vehicles blocked access to the street after the shootings.
7News via YouTube

Given a recent weekend that saw three homicides and a shooting tied to gangs, speculation about gang-involvement in the latest crimes is to be expected.

Such musings won't happen in a vacuum. We've heard whispers about several unpublicized drive-by shootings in areas associated with gang activity over recent days.

We can only hope that this cycle of violence will wind down soon. But it hasn't happened yet.

Indeed, there was another shooting at about 12:30 a.m. this morning near York and Bruce Randolph Street, during which a man was reportedly shot in the leg. No arrests in that incident thus far, either.

Look below to see a 7News piece about the Valentia Street shootings.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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