AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — UPDATE (5:38 p.m.) — Aurora Police Department held a press conference Friday evening on the now confirmed murder-suicide between a mother and stepfather that took place on South Pitkin Circle in Aurora.
Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo gave new details, saying the incident stemmed from domestic violence. The suspect and victim’s identities have not been released at this time.
According to Acevedo, a 42-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman — it has not been clarified whether the two were married — were having a verbal altercation. The two went outside into the driveway of their home, where the man, shot the woman, before shooting himself.
The two children, a 14-year-old boy and a 17-year-old girl were inside the home at the time, according to police.
Acevedo said domestic violence is rising in Colorado, and that police have their work cut out for them.
“We got a lot of work ahead of us,” said Acevedo. He urged those experiencing domestic abuse to reach out to police in order to prevent things like this from happening. Acevedo said there are resources, including police, that are out there to help.
“There’s help out there,” said Acevedo.
Meanwhile, last year Aurora saw record-high crime numbers including murders, aggravated assaults and robberies.
FOX31’s Joshua Short sat down Friday with Aurora’s interim police chief and they covered a lot, even though the conversation was unfortunately cut short due to the murder-suicide.
During that conversation, the chief also talked about how his department is hoping to bring down the record numbers they saw last year.
“We don’t want to make excuses, we want to make a difference,” Acevedo said. He added, “But we also have to acknowledge we have a problem. We can’t fix a problem if you don’t acknowledge you’ve got some challenges.”
Acevedo also confirmed our reporting, saying 52 people were killed in 44 different incidents in 2022. He says his department is focused on transparency, visibility, accountability and trust as ways to address all of this violence.
“I want to work closely with Denver PD, Arapahoe Sheriff’s, with all of our regional partners and really start building some connectivity, some real-time intelligence,” Acevedo told Short. “I would say it’ll take 12-24 months to start seeing the fruit of our implementations,” he said.
The chief also told us they’re working closely with the Dept. of Justice and its Bureau of Justice Assistance Program, to help reduce and prevent crimes. They’re also rolling out a top offender program, where they focus on “the worst of the worst.”
Acevedo added that a lot of undocumented immigrants are in the midst of domestic abuse, saying they are too scared to reach out for help because they are undocumented.
“We are not ICE officers,” said Acevedo.
According to APD, the children of the suspect and victim were transported to APD headquarters and are being assisted by victim services in order to place them with legal guardians.
FOX31 will continue to update this story as more details are released by authorities.