Denver is a large city, and while it has its fair share of violent crime, it’s not one of those cities we think of when we talk about violence. I mean, it’s Denver. People are probably having too hard a time trying to breathe the thin air to get too rowdy.
Or, at least, that’s kind of how it looks to a lot of us on the outside looking in.
But that doesn’t mean violence doesn’t happen there, and a criminal’s rampage made that abundantly clear on Monday night.
Lakewood police say one of their officers was involved in a shooting in the Belmar shopping area on Monday night. Police officials say this crime spree started with deadly shootings in Denver.
“We have every reason to believe that several instances in Denver are connected, that happened before our incidents here in Lakewood,” said John Romero, spokesman for Lakewood Police.
In total, five people were killed, including the suspect.
LPD working an officer involved shooting in Belmar area. More info to come, including media staging area.
— Lakewood Police Dept. (@LakewoodPDCO) December 28, 2021
Lakewood police say they first received a call about shots fired at Colfax Ave. and Kipling St. at around 6 p.m. One person died at that scene. Police had a section of a parking lot in front of a liquor store, tattoo parlor and Thai restaurant taped off.
Police officials say they gathered information about the suspect vehicle.
Officers found that suspect vehicle in the Belmar area, and when they tried to approach the suspect, they shot at officers who shot back at the suspect. The suspect was able to get away on foot.
The suspect was later found dead, though we’re unsure at this time if an officer shot him or not.
In total, four people were killed, plus the suspect.
It also appears that at least one police officer was injured during the altercation.
Five people are dead after a series of shootings Monday night in Denver and Lakewood including one that sent an officer to the hospital.
Two women were killed and one man was injured in the first shooting near First Avenue and Broadway, Denver Police Department Chief Paul Pazen said. Another man was killed in a shooting near 12th Avenue and Williams Street in Denver. Both of these shootings were reported about an hour prior to the Lakewood officer being shot.
Denver police say there were additional shooting scenes at Sixth Avenue and Cherokee Street as well as Eighth Avenue and Zuni Street, but no injuries were reported at either scene.
So far, there are no reports as to what the shooter’s motive may have been. It seems likely that investigators will be looking for one as they proceed, but we should prepare ourselves for the possibility that there isn’t one.
Based on the media reports – reports that are going to be muddled right now, I’ll admit – it seems that the shooter was targeting specific individuals. After all, he entered a hotel and shot one person. Just one. In a hotel that likely had dozens of potential targets.
As such, this doesn’t feel like a rampage shooting as we tend to think of it. Instead, it’s like someone settling a score.
However, that’s just speculation. The investigation may find that everything I just said is completely and totally wrong. It wouldn’t be the first time, after all.
In the meantime, let’s keep the families of those slain in our prayers.