Every Woman Fatally Shot in Colorado During Past Year Killed by a Man

Clockwise from upper left: Kate McDowell, Amy Garcia, Jacquelyn Coleman. Michelle Peters, Danielle Harding, Cymone Duran, Althea McDaniels and Amanda Yellico.
Clockwise from upper left: Kate McDowell, Amy Garcia, Jacquelyn Coleman. Michelle Peters, Danielle Harding, Cymone Duran, Althea McDaniels and Amanda Yellico.
Editor's note: After the publication of this post, Westword learned about the death by gun of a woman not cited by the Gun Memorial website described below: 61-year-old Julie Isaacson of Morrison. Isaacson's slaying fits the terrible pattern outlined here, in that she was allegedly killed by Jerold Cross, with whom she shared a home. Cross is said to have told police responding to the shooting, "I did it." Continue for our original coverage.

During last week's two-night Democratic presidential-candidates debate in Miami, one of the most frequent topics raised by the twenty (count 'em, twenty) hopefuls, including Coloradans John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, was gun violence, in part because of the venue's proximity to Parkland, Florida, where seventeen people were killed in a February 2018 school shooting.

For the most part, the calls for policies that would enhance gun safety were general rather than specific. But Colorado data suggests that the abuse of firearms is overwhelmingly associated with males, and all too often, their victims are women. Of the 21 women who died by gun in the state over the past twelve months, the alleged shooter was a man in every instance for which law enforcement identified a suspect.

Moreover, the vast majority of incidents fall under the umbrella of domestic violence. Such episodes typically found men killing women they presumably loved, after which a considerable number of them took their own lives.

Our source is Gun Memorial, a website we highlighted last year. The project offers an online place to salute, celebrate, remember and mourn every single person in the state who dies by firearm, no matter the circumstances. Included are photos, links and places for family and friends to post details about individuals whose lives ended so suddenly. Each item stands as a unique tribute, as well as a single image in a larger mosaic that illustrates how much pain, bloodshed and heartache involving firearms takes place on an all-too-frequent basis in the fifty united states, including ours.

Of the 21 Colorado female shooting victims profiled by Gun Memorial from July 1, 2018, to the present, one — Rocky Ford's Wendy Schneider — is said to have been shot to death by accident. In a January news release, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation identified the shooter as a family member, without reference to gender, and since then, no one has been arrested or criminally charged.

The other twenty cases are much less ambiguous.

An aside: In national polls, more women than men tend to support gun control. That makes sense given incidents like one involving a pregnant Alabama shooting victim indicted in the death of her fetus, with no charges against the person who pulled the trigger, as well as data like that shared below. The following summaries, supplemented by links to the aforementioned site, offer evidence aplenty that ending the scourge of gun violence must begin with men.

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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