DENVER (CBS4)– People living in the Cole neighborhood met with police on Friday because they are concerned about recent escalating violence in the area.
The Cole neighborhood is bordered by York Street and Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard in northeast Denver.
The most recent shooting was April 11 in the 1600 block of Bruce Randolph Avenue where a man was shot in front of a home about 11 p.m. The gunman shot Abdul Rahim Muhammad, also known as John Oliver, and ran away. Police continue to search for the suspect and said the victim was not affiliated with a gang.
Police told residents they are working on a strategy to end the violence. Although officers would not directly associate the spike in violence with gang activity, they did announce that they are closely monitoring gang members who may be the instigators of the violence.
“The level of violence that we’re seeing right now, it’s significant. There’s no question about that,” said Denver Police Cmdr. Mark Fleecs.
Family members of victims recently killed are urging the neighborhood to work with police on their strategy.
“You don’t understand until you stand in my shoes. You don’t understand until you have to make funeral arrangements,” said murder victim’s niece Tina Ware.
Police announced a “Group Violence Intervention Project” at the meeting and said they are hoping to make notable progress soon.
Gang experts said the recent shootings have typically been personal grudges between individual gang members and not part of a broader violent outbreak. They continue to struggle with the motive behind the spike in violence in the Cole neighborhood.