Denver police: Gang-related violence nearly doubles this year

Police have classified at least five of this year’s 19 homicides as gang-related or motivated. There had been three such killing at this time last year.

Officers investigate the scene of a shooting at a 7-Eleven near 6th and Federal Boulevard in Denver that left an eight-year-old boy critically wounded on April 29, 2013.

The number of gang-related violent crimes in Denver has nearly doubled in the first four months of this year, despite a police program aimed at encouraging gangsters to lead more peaceful lives.

The overall number of gang-related or motivated offenses has remained nearly steady in the first four months of this year compared to 2012, but police department figures show an increasing percentage of violent gang-related crimes. Aggravated assaults, for example, have more than doubled, from 47 between Jan. 1 and April 22, 2012 to 107 during the same period this year. In the first four months of 2012, there were 72 gang-related crimes against persons; in that same period this year there have been 132.

Police officials say it is too soon to gauge the success of the far-reaching Ceasefire program and that the numbers don’t tell the entire story.

But Dianne Cooks, whose son was paralyzed in a gang-related shooting in 2005, said the program has not gone far enough to curb gang violence.


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