'It's still really unreal': Denver woman recovering after getting shot by apparent stray bullet

The shooting happened on June 12 near N. Wolff Street in Denver's Villa Park neighborhood.
Cadance Casillas
Posted at 3:37 PM, Jun 19, 2024

DENVER — A Denver woman is recovering after she was hit by an apparent stray bullet last week while she was inside her own home.

Cadance Casillas said she was struck by gunfire on June 12 at her house near N. Wolff Street in Denver's Villa Park neighborhood.

"I was sitting on my laptop about to start homework," Casillas said. "I swear it sounded like firecrackers, and it was really close. You know, really, really loud. My 1-year-old was asleep, so I'm like, 'OK, let's shut the door.'"

Casillas said when she went to close the door to her apartment, a bullet went through it and hit her leg.

"I feel this painful — like numb feeling — go down my leg, and here I'm still thinking it's fireworks. And thinking I got hit in the leg with the firework," she said. "I ended up on the floor and just started screaming. It's still really unreal."

Several other bullets also went through her apartment, including one that went through the window. Casillas said that one narrowly missed hitting her son, who was lying on the couch.

'It's still really unreal': Denver woman recovering after getting shot by apparent stray bullet

Casillas said her husband and five children were also home. Her two oldest kids jumped into action to help her.

"My 17-year-old got up, and he helped me with a blanket, putting compression on my leg," she said, adding that her other child used a belt as a tourniquet in an attempt to stop the bleeding. "If it wasn't for their quick thinking to do that and my husband's quick thinking to immediately call 911 ... they all stayed calm enough that if it weren't for them, I wouldn't be here."

The Denver Police Department said they have not yet identified a suspect in the shooting.

Casillas' house is two miles from one of five spots DPD has identified as "crime hotspots." Those spots, as listed by the mayor in April, include:

  • Paco Sanchez Park (Council District 3)
  • E. Colfax and N. Verbena (Council District 8)
  • 800 Block of S. Oneida (Council District 5)
  • Mississippi and Raritan (Council District 7)
  • 47th and Peoria (Council District 8)
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Denver7 has covered some recent incidents in the Villa Park neighborhood, including a shooting on April 3. Last year, DPD investigated a homicide in July and a double fatal shooting in March in the neighborhood.

On Wednesday, DPD confirmed with Denver7 that they've increased patrols in that area.

That's something Casillas hopes will increase everyone's safety in the neighborhood.

"Gunshots around this neighborhood happen all the time. We hear them off in the distance or pretty close nearby. Obviously, this was the closest call we've ever had. I'm grateful that it wasn't worse," she said.

Casillas has launched a fundraiser to help cover medical expenses as she recovers.

Her friends have also started a Meal Train to help her family.

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