17-year-old killed in shooting during Juneteenth celebration at Aurora park

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — A 17-year-old boy was killed in a shooting during a Juneteenth celebration at a park in Aurora on Friday evening, police said.

The Aurora Police Department said the shooting occurred at Rocky Ridge Park, which is at the corner of East Mississippi Avenue and South Lewiston Street. More than 1,000 people were in attendance at the event, according to APD.

Neighbors say they heard multiple shots, then saw people running from the park. 

“All of a sudden we hear pop pop pop, at least 6, 7 shots. All one right after another,” said Karen Borthick. “As soon as heard those shots, kids just started flying out of the park. They were running and screaming in every direction.”

Borthick says she called 9-1-1, and watched as friends drove that 17-year-old boy to Mississippi Avenue, where he was placed into an ambulance. 

“Fortunately the ambulance was right there, so they got the kid out of the SUV, and got him loaded into the ambulance, and they took off really fast.”

The victim was transported to an area hospital where he succumbed to his injuries, APD reported.

Police are working to gather information about a suspect.

The victim’s name has not yet been released.

Saturday, life was back to normal at the park, with some groups playing soccer, and others hosting barbecues. 

“To know people came out for a celebration, and it turned out to be bad news involving a teenager, very devastating,” said Abigail Tandoh. 

Tandoh’s church group held a prayer for the victim Saturday afternoon. 

“We just keep praying. We’ll pray for the community, all the people in the community because it has to be in the community that did this, and pray for the family that lost their loved one too.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at: 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous. A reward of up to $2,000 is being offered.

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