AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — City leaders and community activists are speaking out about the gun violence plaguing the Aurora community after nine students were shot in two school-related shootings.
At Hinkley High School on Friday, where three students were shot in the parking lot, teens and parents wrapped their arms around one another as they attempted to wrap their heads around what’s become a remarkable reality.
“[Aurora Police] Chief Vanessa Wilson said it’s a health crisis and some were very upset with her saying that, but I agree with her on that,” civil rights activist Alvertis Simmons said.
Simmons said he is fed up with this downright devastating trend: more and more young people becoming victims of gun violence.
“We’ve got to get them guns out of them young people’s hands,” Simmons said.
‘I don’t think I was prepared for an actual shooting’
FOX31 caught up with a senior leaving class on Friday at Hinkley. He said he was in the school when he heard gunshots.
“I thought it was coming from inside the school,” Khalid Jama said. “No one really thought it was real, I guess, and then we came outside and see all this.”
Crime scene tape, squad cars, police command buses, choppers high above — an overwhelming scene these students were sadly prepared for.
“We have drills and everything, but I don’t think I was prepared for an actual shooting, just the actual panic that came in my head, you know?” Jama said.
On Monday, another six high-schoolers were shot and wounded at a park near Aurora Central High School.
At-large Aurora Councilman Curtis Gardner said he’s mad and frustrated but willing to find solutions.
“It’s heartbreaking for these young people and their families. Their lives are going to be forever changed by what happened this week,” Gardner said, adding: “I want to listen to what everyone has to say, because I think there’s a lot of thoughts and opinions out there and it’s going to take all of us to turn this around.”
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said he was on his way to a community-led march against violence — planned in response to the shooting near Central High — when he saw the scene at Hinkley. He said this back-to-back escalation of violence must end.
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