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Homicides in the headlines: Uptick seen in some Colorado metro areas

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Posted at 5:04 PM, May 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-15 19:07:26-04

DENVER – Colorado Springs has seen a major uptick in homicides so far in 2017 when compared to last year.

There have been 12 deaths so far this year in the city classified as homicides, but after three more people were found dead with gunshot wounds over the weekend, that number could rise to 15 if the coroner determines their deaths were homicides.

On Saturday, police arrested a man on first-degree murder charges in the shooting deaths of two of those three – a male and female that still have not been identified. But the determination of whether or not they were murdered will be made by the coroner.

Still, as of May 1, there were 12 homicides in the city so far this year, compared to just one as of May 1 last year. All have so far been deemed murders.

Last year, there were 22 homicides in Colorado Springs – 19 murders and three that were deemed justifiable homicides.

There were 29 homicides in 2015 (22 murders; four negligent/manslaughter; and three justifiable homicides). In 2014, there were 23 homicides (19 murders; two negligent/manslaughter; and two justifiable homicides). And in 2013, there were 31 homicides (25 murders; four negligent/manslaughter; and two justifiable homicides).

The 12 so far this year would put the city on pace to surpass the numbers for the past three years.

Denver has already seen 20 homicides so far, after experiencing a 10-year high of 56 in 2016 (not including officer-involved shootings).

There were a total of 50 in Denver in 2015, and the number has steadily risen after dropping to a 10-year low of 28 in 2010.

Aurora has seen 12 homicides so far in 2017 – compared to eight over the same time period last year.

In 2013, the city had seen 10 over the same period, and ended up having 23 homicides that year. In 2010, police had covered 12 homicides over the same time period, and also ended that year with 23.

Despite Denver’s 10-year high last year, the city still ranked only 19th in terms of the highest murder rates for the 30 largest cities in the U.S.

The Colorado Springs Police Department did not comment further on the city’s homicide numbers so far this year.