Editor's note: The juvenile killed on July 11 on the 4500 block of Atchison Way in Denver was identified on July 14 as Davarie Armstrong, a seventeen-year-old student at South High School. Learn more in our post "Davarie Armstrong Is Fourth Black Teen Killed in Denver in Six Days." Continue for our previous coverage.
A Denver juvenile was killed during a shooting on the evening of Saturday, July 11: He was the third underage male to die in four days and the ninth Mile High City homicide victim so far in a month that's seen an increase in violent crime already on the upswing this year.
At 11:51 p.m. on July 11, the Denver Police Department tweeted that "officers are investigating a shooting in the 4500 block of Atchison Way involving two victims." At 5:35 a.m. on the July 12, the DPD followed with this: "Update: 1 victim of the Atchison Way shooting was pronounced deceased; 2nd victim (juvenile male) suffered a non-life threatening injury. The shooting occurred at a house party & officers continue actively investigating the circumstances & suspect info." In a third tweet, the department confirmed that "the victim of the Atchison Way shooting who died from his injuries is also a juvenile male."
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The first two juvenile homicide victims in Denver this month were fourteen-year-old Xzavier Collier and fifteen-year-old Moses Chaney Harris. They were killed during the early-morning hours of July 8, during a shooting on the 12200 block of Albrook Drive. The tribute to Collier on the National Gun Violence Memorial website includes a post in which he's described as "one of the smartest students I've ever taught." Another reads: "i miss yuu so much brother!!! its killing me watch over me honey please." Harris's page features this succinct characterization: "amazing, funny, sweet."
Homicides in Denver are currently running at a pace more than 40 percent above the same period in 2019. According to the most recent statistics available, there were 31 murders in Denver from January through May this year — a 47.6 percent increase over the 21 murders during the first five months of 2019. Aggravated assaults were also up significantly over that span — from 1,151 in the first five months of 2019 to 1,424 in 2020, a 23.7 percent jump.
If you have information about the Atchison Way shooting, contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
Neither the name nor any additional information about the decedent in that shooting has been made public. We'll include more details as soon as they're available, to fight against a phenomenon we noted in our recent post about eight Denver homicide victims over eight days: Victims are all too often transformed into mere statistics, especially if they're people of color.