AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) – Aurora police say five people were shot shortly after 4 a.m. on Sunday. One person was killed at a Juneteenth event.
The shooting happened in the parking lot in the 12500 block of East Mississippi Avenue.
According to police, at least 114 shell casings were fired from multiple shooters and more than 50 people dialed 911.
“Dispatchers received over 50 phone calls about a shooting in the parking lot behind us. Some were even reporting an active shooter situation,” said Officer Crystal McCoy with Aurora Police Department.
Information provided to investigators revealed there was a Juneteenth celebration in an unnamed unit of the shopping mall, according to Aurora Police. At some point earlier in the evening presumed organizers of the celebration began denying access to the unit. This led many attendees to gather in the parking lot.
It is currently unknown who organized the gathering, or the name of the establishment in the unnamed unit. That is information investigators will aim to determine in their ongoing investigation.
The situation started in one section of the shopping center of Mississippi & Peoria. Officer McCoy said it stemmed from an unnamed and unclaimed unit with paper covering the windows.
“People were here for this location,” said McCoy. “They were at capacity to some degree. So instead of people leaving, they hung out in the parking lot and where everything unfolded.”
The shooting left one man dead, and three other men and a woman were hurt.
“It’s disturbing and scary. We need the community to help us out. We know people saw what happened. We know their friends were victims in this to help us out,” said McCoy.
Witnesses on scene told FOX31’s Aimee Lewis, party-goers were ducking for cover as the gunmen opened fire into the crowd. One man said he acted as a human shield to protect his brother. Several people watched as a man got into his car to escape the gunfire and drive away, but bullets broke through the car, killing him in his front seat.
People that drove to the party last night, were left waiting all day to get their vehicles back, waiting for officials to wrap up their investigations.
“They haven’t let us move our cars, we have been here since four in the morning, there was one officer that gave us water and food,” said Tevis, who was at the party and saw everything happen. “There’s no words. I am traumatized. My prayers are with the family, I am so sorry for their loss.”
In Aurora, murder rates are down by over 20% so far this year compared to 2020. Aggravated assault cases however, have nearly doubled. Aurora’s mayor asked the Aurora Police chief to come before city council to address gun violence. The chief was unavailable to speak to FOX31 about the shooting Sunday.
Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.
This is a developing story. Details will be reported as they are received.