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Safehouse Denver urges domestic violence victims to seek help before it’s too late: “I didn’t think my best friend was going to get murdered”

By JASMINE ARENAS

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    DENVER (KCNC) — Family and friends are mourning the loss of 20-year-old, Macy Machetta, who was killed by her ex-boyfriend in broad daylight on April 22. Investigators believe her boyfriend shot her and turned the gun on himself.

SafeHouse in Denver says it’s seeing up to 30% of cases involving people under 25.

Moreover, the domestic violence annual report showed that in 2021, Colorado had 61 incidents that resulted in a fatality, while 91 people died in these incidents. This was the highest number of DVFS since the board was created in 2017.

Macy’s mother wants to tell her story to create more awareness. Her friend, Lili Vina Gilbert is also speaking out.

“Macy was a bright, talented, beautiful young woman living in Denver,” Vina Gilbert said.

She was studying to be a hairstylist, while working. Her mother shares her daughter was focused and ambitious.

“We try so hard as women to do everything we can to make them strong and empowered… and it doesn’t matter,” Machetta said. “I think that’s a problem… when you can buy a gun in 45 minutes, but not get crisis counseling in less than two weeks.”

She believes the new gun laws in place now could have saved her daughter’s life.

The bills have now expanded the state’s red flag law, raised the minimum age to purchase all guns to 21, imposed a three-day waiting period on firearm purchases, and made it easier for people to sue firearm manufacturers. The bills were signed into law the following week.

According to the family, Macy’s ex-boyfriend threatened to kill her less than two weeks ago before the tragedy, but never thought he would act on it.

“I didn’t think my best friend was going to get murdered. That’s just not something that crossed my mind, and you know, he was drunk when he first threatened her… people say stuff when they’re drunk,” Vina Gilbert said.

According to SafeHouse, in Denver County, there’s been an increase of at least 25% to 30% of cases involving people under 25 years old.

Natasha Adler, the director of services and data management at SafeHouse in Denver believes community effort is important.

“We need to make sure that we are talking about dating violence, we are talking about what those red flags are because we are seeing such a high number of domestic violence cases in that population, and it is definitely a point of intervention,” Adler added.

Macy’s last words in her notebook are words that will never be forgotten.

“I am happy, I am kind and I am living my dreams right now,” Macy wrote.

Right now, the family is accepting donations, but they’re planning to donate it to a nonprofit that helps victims of domestic violence.

According to SafeHouse, this is the third murder-suicide incident reported this year in Denver.

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