For years, anti-gang activist Leon Kelly has been keeping a list of those killed in gang violence. His list is growing. Since November, there have been 15 gang-related murders and several other shootings — many of them in northeast Denver.
Kelly, who runs Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, has been meeting with a group known as “The Council,” made up representatives from different gangs. He’s trying to broker a truce. And the Denver police are putting an extra $500,000 toward reducing gang violence and federal officials are paying to install video cameras in Denver neighborhoods where gangs are battling.
Two men — one of them a purported Denver gang member — have been charged in an August drive-by shooting in the city’s Montbello neighborhood that left two people wounded.
Jquan Johnson, 19, and Juelues Judkins, a 23-year-old member of the Crips, are suspected of two counts each of attempted first-degree murder, attempted first-degree assault, second-degree assault. The pair also each face two counts each of menacing and a count of illegal discharge of a weapon.
“It was hard time served from a wheelchair, the result of a paralyzing gunshot in the back during a violent house party.
And while Rudy Salazar, 39, turned his back on the gang lifestyle, the remnants of that tumultuous time — crude tattoos that cover his face and body, aching memories of a wasted life, unending pain from chronic pressure wounds — never left him.
Now a patient of Sangre de Cristo Hospice, Salazar is making the most of his remaining time by warning youngsters of the grim consequences of poor decisions, especially those related to gang activity.”