DENVER (CBS4) – Less than two weeks since a gunman shot and killed five people in a rampage in Denver and Lakewood, dozens gathered on Broadway to commemorate and mourn the victims murdered on December 27th and friends spoke.
“We came together to clean up this block,” said Elena Klaver, a dancer. “In honor of Alicia Cárdenas and Alyssa Maldonado and the other three people.”
The other three victims killed were Danny “Dano” Scofield, Sarah Steck and Michael Swinyard. Alyssa’s husband, Jimmy Maldonado, was also shot and injured in the shooting. He was recently released from the hospital and attended the ceremony.
“A lot of ceremonial work has been done to make sure they are fine on their way to the next life, but here we have to say, ‘This violence stops here. This misogyny. The white supremacy. We’re taking this seat back, ‘”said Klaver.
Cárdenas, 44, was one of the first victims to be killed that fateful day. She was the owner of Sol Tribe Tattoo & Piercing. Nathen Garcia, Cardenas’ cousin, told CBS4 she was a pillar of the Denver community. Cárdenas enjoyed dancing, painting murals, and hanging out with her 12-year-old daughter.
“My thoughts just keep moving on to ‘This can’t be true’. It’s a nightmare. I would like to talk to her, ”said Garcia. “She built her business from the ground up. She did a great job for herself and the way she held space for the community and was always there for the people. “
While the loss of the victims continues to be felt, the community tries to pick up the broken pieces.
“I’m just going to pray that our community will stay strong together,” Garcia said.
People like Garcia and Klaver are learning to heal and are learning to deal with the absence of five people who meant so much to so many in the Colorado community.
“It will be a process, and for the families, for the community, for all those affected, it is as if the grief does not go away,” said Klaver. “But we have to translate this grief into action at some point.”