AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Aurora police have stepped up patrols around Southlands Mall after a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed in the parking lot on Saturday night at about 9:30.
Witnesses told police they saw four to five male suspects leaving the scene in a black four-door sedan. Officers found the vehicle but have not arrested or identified any suspects.
“I’ve never considered this to be a dangerous place, to be honest,” said Gabriel Hichens.
“It’s worrisome,” said Dr. Tom Fawell.
There were students celebrating homecoming weekend in the area that night and families are concerned.
“It’s a very popular area,” said Kalyn Crockett, who lives in a nearby neighborhood. “It just kind of makes you think twice when you are going to areas with your kids especially.”
The shooting happened in Council Member Francoise Bergan’s ward.
“My heart goes out to the parents of that child,” Bergan said. “I’m hearing from a lot of my constituents that are extremely concerned. They’re scared honestly, and we want to assure them this was not a random act.”
Police say the people involved had preplanned a meetup of some kind in that area.
“I know this was a homecoming weekend, but I have been told by the police that this had nothing to do with the homecoming weekend,” Bergan said.
The crime in Aurora is alarming, she said, and there are many factors at play, but Bergan said city leaders want to address the issues.
“I hope that we can come together as a community to work on solutions,” she said.
Bergan’s colleague, Council Member Angela Lawson, issued the following statement.
“I want to express my condolences to the family and friends of the teenager who senselessly lost his life. They are all in my thoughts during this difficult time, and I hope they get the justice they deserve.
We’ve seen too much youth violence in the Denver metro area, but I want to assure our community that Aurora takes this issue very seriously. Public safety is a top priority for our City Council, and we are undertaking all efforts to protect our youth. We need everybody — law enforcement, service providers and community stakeholders — to be on board to make our efforts successful.
While APD is still investigating this specific incident, we are also evaluating how it may fit into our focused deterrence efforts.
To our youth, I plead with you: Think about your actions and think about those you love before you put yourself in a dangerous situation. Too many young lives have been lost.”Aurora City Council Member Angela Lawson
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 (STOP).