Vencenzio Luciano, 41, was shot and killed near the Arbor Pointe Apartments on Hancock Expressway on the morning of Oct. 4. All four lanes of Hancock Expressway were closed shortly after 8:45 a.m., when the Colorado Springs Police Department received a call of shots fired, according to Lt. James Sokolik, the CSPD public information officer.

When first responders arrived at the scene, they attempted life-saving efforts, but the victim died at the scene. Luciano’s death is the 27th homicide investigation for 2021. CSPD’s investigation into this incident is ongoing.

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CSPD responded to a reported shooting at approximately 8:45 a.m. near Arbor Pointe Apartments on Hancock Expressway on Oct. 4.

On Oct. 2, CSPD received a shooting call for service in the 4200 block of Astrozon Boulevard. According to a news release from CSPD, “Officers and medical personnel responded and located a deceased adult female inside of a residence. Based on the preliminary investigation by patrol officers, detectives from CSPD's Homicide/Assault Unit responded to assume responsibility for this investigation. Detectives have contacted everyone involved in this incident and no arrests have been made at this time. This continues to be an active and open investigation.”

Police identified the victim as Liana Salas, 41. 

According to data provided by Howard Black, the public information officer for the 4th Judicial District, murders in Colorado have increased 51 percent from 2016 to 2020, and have increased 34 percent within the 4th Judicial District, which includes El Paso and Teller counties.

Sokolik notes that it can be difficult to identify correlations or causations with homicide data.

“We are probably on-par with our shootings from last year,” he said during a media briefing Oct. 4. “When we look at our homicides in Colorado Springs, we don’t find that there is a common thread. There isn’t an overarching theme on what happens. One homicide doesn’t necessarily lead into another homicide. It is always concerning, of course, when we do have an increase in homicides and I will say one homicide or two homicides those are too many homicides but I don’t want people to feel that because we had a certain number we are going to have more. We could certainly have no more homicides for the rest of the year, it is not a causation type of thing.”

CSPD asks that anyone with any information about these incidents contact CSPD at 719-444-7000, or if you wish to remain anonymous, you may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at 719-634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.

Heidi Beedle is a former soldier, educator, activist, and animal welfare worker. She received a Bachelor’s in English from UCCS. She has worked as a freelance writer covering LGBTQ issues, nuclear disasters, cattle mutilations, and social movements.