Twentieth anniversary of Denver's Summer of Violence and ten violent acts in summers since
On June 9, 1993 -- twenty years ago yesterday -- six-year-old Broderick Bell was hit by a random gunshot, kicking off what came to be known as Denver's Summer of Violence. As can be seen in this 2006 photo, Bell survived, but many others haven't during the summers that have followed, a number of which have been bloodier than 1993. Below, see examples from the last four years of Westword's crime archive. Some are well known, while others are the sort of awful acts that we hardly register anymore -- and make us afraid about more violent summers to come. "Friends and family seek to solve Billy Ortiz's killing" August 12, 2009
"As noted in a recent blog, local media seems to care more when white people are shot, and often provides comparatively little coverage when Hispanics or African-Americans like those who dominate a list of Denver homicide victims during the first half of 2009 are slain. That was certainly the case for twenty-year-old Billy Ortiz, who was shot and killed in early June. A web search for his name and specifics turns up only a couple of clips like this one from Channel 31, leaving his friends to pay tribute to him on his MySpace page."
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"Carmen Swindall, Bell's ex-girlfriend, "said a witness saw an unmarked police car run him over as he lay in the parking lot after being shot in a gunfight with the other man." Denver coroner personnel say the witness was wrong: There's no sign of Bell having been run over by a vehicle, patrol car or otherwise, let alone that such an incident killed him. The bullet did the job."
Continue to see more examples of local crimes on the twentieth anniversary of Denver's Summer of Violence. "McConney Bronson: 15th most wanted man in Denver killed, Pernell Hines arrested" June 21, 2010
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"Now, he's the seventh victim in the second year of our Mile High Murder blog -- and Pernell Hines is a suspect in the incident."
"The man found murdered near a Motel Six on the 3800 block of Paris Street early Saturday morning has been ID'd as Anthony Silva, an army sergeant stationed at Fort Carson. He was due for discharge soon and was headed back to Illinois to visit with his family.
"Denver Police believe he may have been walking his dog when he was fatally shot."
Continue to see more examples of local crimes on the twentieth anniversary of Denver's Summer of Violence. "Brittany Gonzales accused of running over child, going back to get hubcap, then splitting" June 23, 2011
"Witnesses...say the boy was bleeding and wailing in the street near the intersection of Irving Street and Dakota Avenue on June 18 when Gonzales pulled over in her 1998 Toyota. But her focus wasn't on his apparent injuries. At first, she allegedly freaked out about her cell phone. Then she grabbed a hubcap that had come off at impact and took off again, leaving tire tracks and skid marks on the pavement and nearby lawns." "Roberto Santistevan busted in fatal stabbing of Crystal Crespin on S. Eliot" August 9, 2011
"Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson noted that the DPD received a call about a domestic disturbance.... But the department subsequently revealed that the callers did more than simply alert the authorities. Neighbors went to the scene, where they discovered the thus-far unidentified victim and held Santistevan until cops could arrive.
"Shortly thereafter, he was arrested for investigation of first-degree murder."
Continue to see more examples of local crimes on the twentieth anniversary of Denver's Summer of Violence. "Katrishay Quarles died of gunshot to throat in homicide near Denver Rescue Mission" September 19, 2011
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"The Denver Rescue Mission reaches out to the troubled via its iconic "Jesus Saves" sign.
"But no one was able to save a woman who was shot and killed near the facility early Saturday morning.
"At 12:08 a.m., the Denver Police Department received several calls about a shooting on the 2200 block of Lawrence Street -- and those living in the neighborhood weren't the only ones alerted. Officers on patrol in the vicinity also heard the shots and rushed to the scene, where they found a woman suffering from gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at Denver Health."
"Police received a call about a Hispanic male found wrapped in a blanket. The man had been shot in the face, stomach and left arm. He was wearing a white tank top, blue jeans and red-and-white Pumas, while the blanket sported a black-and-white tiger -- details that would prove important before long.
"Why? Detectives on the scene soon discovered that police had received another call from the neighborhood at about 3:13 a.m. The unnamed men at the apartment in question, on South Quivas Street, about three blocks south and two blocks west of where the body was discovered, told officers that they'd been out, and when they returned, they found blood and spent shell casings in the living room. Moreover, their roommate, a short, skinny Hispanic in his mid-twenties (he was actually 27) known to them only as El Cholo, was missing.
"The basic description of El Cholo matched that of the man found in the alley, right down to the red Pumas and a blanket he owned -- one with a black-and-white animal on it. Detectives promptly obtained a search warrant for the South Quivas pad."
Continue to see more examples of local crimes on the twentieth anniversary of Denver's Summer of Violence. "Clifford Garel police report quote: 'I beat the sh*t out of my mom,' age 84" July 13, 2012
"According to the Denver Police Department item, Garel's abuse of his elderly parents took place over a three-day period earlier this month. Over that span, he allegedly pushed, punched and struck his mom, in addition to twisting her legs so hard that the tissue actually twisted open and hung loosely from her calf.
"The woman also had bruises all over her body, including a black right eye. In addition, Garel is said to have pushed his father when he tried to defend his wife."
"According to the DA's office, Oliver had been involved in an altercation toward the end of a June 25 jazz concert at the park, at which point he fired multiple rounds into a crowded area. One of the shots struck the head of Officer Hollis, a single mother, president of the Black Police Officer's Association and, by the accounts shared on Sunday at a City Park concert and vigil in her honor, a person beloved by her family, friends and colleagues."
More from our Mile High Murder archive: "77 homicides in year four of Mile High Murder: See where they happened, part one."