Counting Victims From Bloodiest Denver Weekend of 2020

A Denver police officer collecting evidence after a drive-by shooting in the Valverde neighborhood on August 9.
A Denver police officer collecting evidence after a drive-by shooting in the Valverde neighborhood on August 9. Denver7 via YouTube
The summer of 2020 is destined to be remembered for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But even as the novel coronavirus has taken its terrible toll, a startling amount of violence and bloodshed has occurred in greater Denver. Over this past weekend, two people were killed and at least fourteen injured in a half-dozen separate incidents, including an apparent drive-by shooting targeting a family get-together at a park in the Valverde neighborhood that resulted in nine people being wounded.

"What Byers & Pecos park is unacceptable," Mayor Michael Hancock tweeted in response to the latter. "A family gathering disrupted by a shooter indiscriminately firing into the crowd. Our prayers and thoughts are with the injured. No resource will be spared to find the responsible parties for this senseless & stupid act."

Here's the sequence of events over the past three days, all of which fit Hancock's "senseless & stupid" description. (No victims have been identified and no suspect information has been released as of this morning.)

Our research suggests that the three-day period between August 7 and August 9 was the bloodiest in Denver thus far in 2020. Note that 83 men, women and children were injured or killed in shootings between January 1 and July 12 in the Mile High; the twelve this weekend represent nearly 15 percent of the total during that entire six-month-plus period.

8:50 p.m. Friday, August 7

Northglenn Police officers responded to a call from a local hospital, where a man had arrived with what are described as "visible injuries." According to the victim, he was in a parking lot near the intersection of 120th Avenue and Washington Street when a male in a silver Toyota FJ "exited the vehicle, assaulted him and discharged a firearm before fleeing the scene."

11:46 p.m. Saturday, August 8

A Denver Police Department tweet noted that officers were present on the 2400 block of Downing Street following a reported shooting that targeted an adult male. The latter was transported to a local hospital, where he failed to respond to treatment. "The case is now being investigated as a homicide," the DPD revealed the next morning.

"Shortly after midnight" Sunday, August 9

During the first moments of August 9, officers with the Aurora Police Department were dispatched to the 200 block of South Jasper Circle after a reported shooting at an apartment in the Centre Point neighborhood. An adult male was pronounced dead at the scene.

4:43 p.m. Sunday, August 9

The DPD rushed to the park in the 1400 block of West Byers Place after receiving tips about "multiple parties being shot." Over the next several hours, it was determined that nine people had been hit by bullets, while a tenth "suffered minor injuries as a result of being struck by a vehicle while attempting to flee the scene." All are expected to survive — a miracle considering the indiscriminate nature of the attack and the twenty or so people on hand at the time.

10:37 p.m. Sunday, August 9

The 911 calls came in fast and furious late August 9 after shots rang out on the 5400 block of the Sixth Avenue frontage road in Lakewood. Agents sent to the scene soon found two victims of gunshot wounds considered to be in critical condition — and once again, a drive-by seemed to be the cause of the violence. Investigators revealed that ten to fifteen people were attending a house party when gunfire erupted from a dark-colored SUV that cruised past. Lakewood Police Department reps say it's too early in the inquiry to know if the shooting had any connection to the flying lead at the Valverde park.

11:50 p.m. Sunday, August 9

This time, DPD officers were called to an area near West Virginia Avenue and South Eliot Street on a shooting report. Upon their arrival, they found two individuals who needed treatment for gunshot wounds.

There was a helluva lot of that going around this weekend. If you have information about any of these crimes, contact Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts