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Another deadly shooting in LoDo has DPD reassessing tactics downtown

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Posted at 6:16 PM, Aug 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-23 21:08:10-04

DENVER — Another deadly weekend in Lower Downtown Denver has some employees in the area, like Sarah Williams, on alert.

"I bought a taser off of Amazon to carry with me at night when I’m walking over to the parking garage," said Williams.

Williams works at Milk Market. She said the mood in the area changes after hours in LoDo.

"Late at night, you can definitely tell there’s a stronger presence of police in the area. There are sirens going off," explains Williams.

A heavy police presence was needed this past weekend when six people were shot outside of a bar just after closing time early Sunday morning. Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen says minutes after that shooting, police responded to another incident where someone was firing rounds out of their car.

"Officers were able to make a quick arrest and recover three more illegal guns off the streets," said Pazen.

Just two weeks ago, Chief Pazen tolsd Denver7 he was concerned about the crime around Coors Field, especially after a man was killed right outside the gate. He said that case and the most recent case at 19th and Blake are different and have different motivations.

Pazen said weeks ago he adding more off-duty officers in the area during certain times of the week. He says that is still the case, and he will look into possibly adding more officers to stop what has become a violent summer.

"We’re going to see some successes, and we’re going to see times where we take a step back. Certainly this weekend in the hot spot around Lodo, we took a step back. We have to reassess and figure out how we can do better," said Pazen,

This comes as the number of people visiting downtown continues to climb. July alone saw 193,000 people per day. That number creeps closer to the pre-pandemic average.

"The key is to look at why it;s happening, where it's happening. The key is not to extrapolate these instances that we have an unsafe city," said Tami Door, president of Downtown Denver Partnership.

He said this summer's violence hasn’t impacted business so far, and he doesn’t think it will moving forward.

"I'm not expecting to see a change. I’m expecting to see a continued increase in pedestrian traffic. I’m expecting to see it continue to increase in business, especially in our retailers and restaurants," said Door.