DENVER – Ten people were injured Sunday after a gunman apparently opened fire on a family gathered in a small park south of the city.
Denver Police sought the help of the public in identifying the shooter. Investigators said the car shootings did not appear to be related to the family reunion and occurred shortly before 5pm None of the victims appeared to have suffered life-threatening injuries, police said.
“They are considered victims and we are working in that direction,” said Denver police spokesman Tyrone Campbell. “It looks like it was just a family reunion.”
Campbell said nine people were injured in the shooting, and one 10th person was hit by a vehicle while running from the shooting. Campbell said some of the victims are “young” but declined to give more specifics. He said six shooting victims were taken to hospital by ambulance, and three were taken by private vehicle.
Byers and Pecos Park where the shooting took place is a small neighborhood park with a small play facility, nestled in a residential neighborhood on the west side of Interstate 25, south of the city.
Like many cities across the country, Denver is suffering a wave of gun violence and 38 people have died in suicide by the end of June, putting the city on track to have one of its deadliest years within at least one decade. The city saw 26 suicides last year in the same period, according to Denver police statistics.
“This is unacceptable,” Campbell said, urging anyone with information to call the Denver police. “Right now, we just need help.”
While nationwide protests over black life issues have focused on police violence against black people, there has also been a wave of gun violence across the country plaguing many Black and minority communities.
Although mass shootings in which four or more people have been killed have dropped significantly this year, other non-suicide weapon deaths are at a pace that surpasses last year, according to the Gun Violence Archive. While there are likely to be many drivers, public health experts say the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and subsequent economic aftermath, political divisions in a presidential election year, and conflicts that erupted across the country after George Floyd’s Remembrance Day death likely to have played a role.
“There’s something going on right now, these fundamental tensions,” said James Densley, professor of law enforcement and criminal justice at former Metropolitan State Metropolitan University. “Everyone has been collaborating for so long with the pandemic, and then we had this kind of outburst of anger and grief after the assassination of George Floyd.”
In response to the violence, President Donald Trump has deployed federal agents in several U.S. cities under the auspices of Operation LeGend, named LeGend Taliferro, a four-year-old who was shot and killed while sleeping in Kansas City in late June.
Trump said more than 300 people were shot in New York City alone in June, and 414 people were killed in agoikago in 2020, with about 2,000 Chicagoans shot so far this year.
In announcing the deployments, which include Kansas City, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit and Milwaukee, Trump linked the wave of violence to protests and Black Lives Matter issues and efforts to protect police agencies and divert their funds to alternative approaches. .
“This violent retreat shakes the conscience of our nation, and we will not stand by and watch it happen,” Trump said. “I can’t do it.”
Contribution: Associated Press
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