‘I’m angry’: Aurora police chief pleads for parents to keep closer eye on their kids

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AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — After high-schoolers were involved in two shootings within a school week, Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson pleaded for parents to keep a more watchful eye on their children.

“These are our kids that are shooting one another,” Wilson said. “We have disrespect and no concern for life whatsoever. I need the parents to get involved. I need you checking phones, I need you checking rooms, I need you checking cars, and make sure that they’re taking these guns away from these kids.”

The chief shared her comments during a press conference at Hinkley High School, where three high-schoolers were shot on Friday after a fight in the parking lot. On Monday, six Aurora Central High School students were shot and wounded in a drive-by shooting at a park near the school. Wilson said police do not know if the shootings are connected.

“I’m angry,” Wilson said. “People know what happened here. We need to talk to our kids. These beefs cannot continue.”

Emotional scars will ‘be lifelong’

Of the three teenagers shot on Friday, two of them were Hinkley High School students and one was an APS Avenue student. Police believe one of them may be a suspect. Wilson said multiple shooters were involved and a white pickup truck of interest had been located.

She said the shootings stem from fights, and the young people involved have guns — “and they got them from somewhere.”

Although no weapons had been recovered as of Friday afternoon, Wilson said juveniles are often able to buy guns through social media. That’s also where threats circulated on Friday that Grandview and Rangeview high schools “were next,” Wilson said, prompting a police response.

“So we need to start checking our kids’ phones, you need to know … who your kids are hanging out with and who their friends are, and we need check rooms and everything else to see if there are weapons that are involved here. I hate to just be that blunt, but I need the parents’ help in this,” Wilson said.

“We cannot do it alone, and I know, as you are, we are tired of this,” Wilson said. “Luckily, none of these injuries, we’re being told, are life-threatening, but again, the emotional scars, not only the people that were hit today but the people that witnessed it … it’s gonna be lifelong.”

Watch the full press conference with Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson.

Reward offered for information

Anyone with information related to the shooting or whose kids have video is urged to get in touch with Metro Denver Crime Stoppers, which is offering a reward of up to $2,000 — “and we’ll try to increase that as we can,” Wilson said.

Tips can remain anonymous and can be reported online or by calling 720-913-7867 (STOP).

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