Rising violent crime in Denver this summer, and throughout 2020 so far, has been well documented. But Aurora's homicide rate is actually higher than that of the bigger city next door.
This scenario resulted from a startling blast of violence in Aurora over recent days. Over 65 hours from late Friday, August 14, to the early afternoon of Monday, August 17, five killings took place in four separate incidents. That makes seven Aurora homicides for the month to date, and brings the total for Colorado's third-largest city to thirty thus far in 2020.
In terms of sheer numbers, Denver has tallied more 2020 homicides than Aurora: 53 as of today. But the homicide rate is determined by factoring in how many people live in a particular city. According to the World Population Review website, Denver's population in 2020 is 734,134, while Aurora's is 382,742 — just over half of Denver's size. But Aurora's homicide rate is 56.6 percent of Denver's, making it higher than would be expected based on its population alone.
As a result, by Westword's estimate, Denver's current homicide rate is 7.219 per 100,000 people. Aurora's is 7.838 per 100,000.
Aurora's 23 homicides through July reportedly translated to a 53 percent upswing from the previous year, and the seven during the first seventeen days of August represent nearly a third of that amount again.
August began in a bloody fashion in Aurora, with the first homicide taking place near Montview Park just after 1 p.m. on August 1; an adult male was found shot to death in a car parked on Boston Street. About a week later, shortly after midnight on August 9, a man was shot to death at an apartment on the 200 block of South Jasper Circle in the Centre Point neighborhood.
Then came the deluge. Here's the timeline, culled from Aurora Police Department releases.
11:51 p.m. August 14
Aurora police officers who responded to a shooting at 11763 East Cornell Circle found one adult male and one adult female suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. They were both declared dead after being transported to a local hospital.
4:22 a.m. August 15
The location this time was 24511 East Applewood Circle, but the rest of the drill was similar. Officers responding to the scene found an adult male who'd been shot. He succumbed to his wounds at a nearby medical facility.
2:23 p.m. August 17
Police called to the Radiant Inn, located at 10950 East Colfax Avenue (seen in the photo at the top of this post), found another adult male with a gunshot wound. Again, he was pronounced dead after being taken to a hospital.
4:39 p.m. August 17
Barely two hours after the Radiant Inn killing, Aurora cops were dispatched to 1635 South Mobile Street, where the method of homicide was different — a knife rather than a gun. The adult male stabbing victim was still alive when he got to the hospital but passed away shortly thereafter.
Note that only three of these victims has been identified to date: Joshua James Little Hawk-Rogers, nineteen, who was killed on August 9, and Jossline Sami Rowland and Joseph William Rowland, who died on August 14. That news was released this morning, August 18.
Anyone with information about these crimes can contact Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867). They may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.
This post has been updated to include the identification of Jossline Sami Rowland, Joseph William Rowland and Joshua James Little Hawk-Rogers.