The Denver mayor’s strategy to round up the homeless and house drug users and the mentally ill under the same roof with folks just down on their luck never sounded like a good idea.

And now the shooting has started.

Seven people have died since December at the former Doubletree hotel that now serves as a city homeless dorm funded by millions in taxpayer dollars.

That includes a double shooting on March 16 that left two dead and a third shooting on Wednesday. That woman is expected to survive.

Coincidently, The Denver Gazette had released its investigative report earlier Wednesday on multiple deaths at this location on 4040 Quebec Street plus more than 1,200 police calls to the shelter area since November.

The deaths all occurred since Jan. 19, just weeks after Mayor Johnston announced the completion of his campaign promise to get 1,000 homeless folks off the street by New Year’s Eve.

No cause of death has been determined in the non-shooting deaths, pending the results of toxicology reports, The Gazette reported.

In reporting this week’s shooting, the Denver Post also noted the number of police calls but opted to go for a much lower number of 465 by narrowing the results from just between Jan. 1 and March 17.

The Post also reported:

Even with increased safety protocols — including hiring more staff and contract security guards, securing all entry points with a badge system and photo ID cards for residents, installing additional security cameras and increasing police patrols in the area, a gun still made its way into the shelter Wednesday night.

The gun made its way in? Did it come on little cat feet or a magic carpet ride? Maybe the legislature could declare homeless shelters a “gun free zone” so weapons stop creeping into buildings like that and jumping into people’s hands.

An arrest was made in this week’s shooting. The suspect is also a resident.

Meanwhile, the mayor’s office is mostly concerned with quibbling over the fatality numbers, insisting that some of the people who died inside the shelter weren’t part of Johnston’s “All In Mile High” and therefore should not be counted.

So callous.

The Gazette sums it up:

The city’s homeless dashboard, which tracks “exits” from the city’s “All In High Mile” program, shows that a total of nine people have died. Earlier, the dashboard showed that six people have died, and the mayor’s office said four of those deaths occurred at the former DoubleTree hotel.

Of the seven deaths at former DoubleTree hotel tracked by the medical examiner, three were guests or visitors, the mayor’s office said, adding the city’s homeless dashboard doesn’t track deaths of people who were not part of the program.

The medical examiner’s office said it makes no such distinction.

Good reporting by journalist Noah Festenstein. Read the entire piece here.