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

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....


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


...epitomizing the latter.

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

La baby smiley in foco showing them haters wasup

Posted by Rebecca LilSmiley on Sunday, June 23, 2013

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.

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."


View Larger MapMedia 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.

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.

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.

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.

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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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