Between July 28 and Sept. 4, The Denver Post’s reporters covered seven police shootings in the Metro area. None happened in the city of Denver.

At the time, I was the criminal justice beat reporter, and my gut instinct told me the pattern for officer-involved shootings was changing. Elise Schmelzer, a staff reporter who’d been at the paper for just a few weeks, asked me what the deal was with so many shootings in such a short period of time. She, too, felt like there was a story to be told.

Since then, I’ve moved into a role where I edit the police reporters so Saja Hindi, a reporter who joined The Denver Post in January, worked with Elise to report this story. The team researched the shootings by reading decision letters written by district attorneys after officers kill or injure someone with a gun.

The instinct was right. Police shootings in the suburbs are on the rise. But this story goes deeper, explaining why that is happening.

These reporters spent months putting this together. I hope you find the story, graphics and online map well worth the effort. Thanks for reading.

Noelle Phillips, Breaking News Editor for The Denver Post

Five of The Denver Post’s best stories this week

Crime tape at a residence early ...
AAron Ontiveroz, The Denver Post
Crime tape is visible outside the home of Richard Gary Black, who was shot dead July 30, 2018, by an Aurora police officer responding after Black legally defended his own home from an intruder.

Shootings by police in Denver suburbs more than triple over four years while incidents in the city remain level

By analyzing letters from district attorneys’ office, the Denver Post built a database of all the officer-involved shootings where a person was killed or injured between 2014 and 2018. That data shows that suburbs in the Denver metro area are seeing three times as many shootings while law enforcement shootings in the city remained the same. While police saying increased populations has led to increased violent crimes, experts say lighter police oversight in the suburbs is also contributing. Read more from Elise Schmelzer and Saja Hindi.


The exterior of Koelbel Urban Homes at CityHomes in Boulevard One at Lowry.
Provided by Koelbel Urban Homes
The exterior of Koelbel Urban Homes at CityHomes in Boulevard One at Lowry.

In Denver housing market, what was hot is now cold. See where your ZIP code ranks in home prices.

Denver’s housing market is undergoing some major changes this year, meaning some of last year’s hottest neighborhoods are plunging into the frigid depths as mountains havens and starter-home hubs are gaining ground. Check out our interactive map to see where your neighborhood stands. Read more from Aldo Svaldi.


Mark Kennedy, sole finalist for CU ...
Joe Amon, The Denver Post
Mark Kennedy, sole finalist for CU president, holds a town hall meeting for CU system administration and the CU foundation to answer questions at the Capitol Ballroom of the Warwick Hotel downtown April 22, 2019, in Denver.

Mark Kennedy introduced himself to all four CU campuses this week. One regent says she won’t vote for him to lead the university.

After a week of contentious campus visits, Mark Kennedy, the sole presidential finalist for the University of Colorado, has lost at least one vote from the board of regents, which must give final approval before he is hired. Read more from Elizabeth Hernandez.


Joe Amon, The Denver Post
Stops along RTD’s new G-Line are pictured clockwise from top left: 41st and Fox Station, Clear Creek and Federal Station, Olde Town Arvada, Arvada Ridge, Pecos Junction and 60th Ave. and Sheridan at Arvada Gold Strike. There are seven stops in total from Union Station in downtown Denver to Wheat Ridge.

G-Line opening: A stop-by-stop guide to metro Denver’s newest RTD rail line

The long-overdue G-Line train finally began carrying passengers Friday, with seven locations in the northwest metro area will getting new life from the commuter rail. Read more from John Aguilar.


Khalil Amani describes his life as ...
Kathryn Scott, Special to The Denver Post
Khalil Amani describes his life as a former member of the the Black empowerment cult Nation of Yahweh on March 30, 2019, in Denver.

Death angels, chopped ears and firebombs: A Denver man’s life inside a violent separatist cult

Khalil Amani could hear wailing coming from the next room. Standing guard at the Nation of Yahweh’s “Temple of Love” in Miami, Amani slowly turned a corner and saw a dozen of his fellow cult members stomping on a man and beating him. The next day, a jogger found the man’s body near the Everglades. His head had been severed. Read more from Sam Tabachnik.


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