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DENVER (KDVR) — Political leaders issued statements on youth violence after a shooting near Aurora Central High School sent six students to the hospital on Monday.

While Gov. Jared Polis was in Washington as part of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure bill signing, he sent this statement Monday evening regarding the shooting:

I am so saddened by the violence that took place in Aurora today. Our children need to feel safe in parks, in our schools and parents need peace of mind that their students are safe in our neighborhoods. My prayers are with the victims, their families, and all of the concerned students and parents in Aurora. I have spoken with Mayor Coffman and extended my administration’s support as the investigation evolves, reiterating my commitment to working with our cities to ensure that tragedies like this don’t continue to happen in our communities, and hope the perpetrator or perpetrators will be brought to justice.

Gov. Jared Polis

Youth violence has become more of an issue in Aurora, and Mayor Mike Coffman is urging officials to make sure the people responsible are brought to justice.

A shooting today in a park by Aurora Central High School has left six young people hospitalized. My prayers are with the injured and their families. As the facts surrounding this incident become known, I look forward to hearing from our Chief of Police and from our District Attorney about what actions will be taken to apprehend and prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, those responsible for this incident. The most important function of government is the protection of its people and I strongly believe that public safety must always be the top priority for this city.

Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman

Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly, who leads day-to-day operations in the city, said:

Our thoughts are with the victims and their families. Today’s incident is deeply troubling. Violence involving teenagers and young adults is distressing and is sadly a public health problem in communities across the nation. The safety of young people in our community is a priority and that is why we have joined with other metro communities in working collaboratively to address youth violence as a public health crisis.

Earlier this year, the city of Aurora launched the Youth Violence Prevention Program to develop a model inclusive of public health, prevention and intervention efforts that are based on national models and best practices to prevent and address youth violence in the short-term and the long-term. We also entered the Aurora/Denver Youth Empowerment Compact in Nov. 2020 to develop strategies and identify new and existing resources to combat youth violence with a public health approach in collaboration with the City and County of Denver.

Addressing youth violence is complex. We believe these efforts combined with robust, ongoing community input will help reduce the impact of youth violence across the region.

Aurora City Manager Jim Twombly

Legislators from Aurora said they are devastated by the incident and demand more be done to prevent youth violence.

I am devastated to learn of today’s shooting in Aurora that led to the hospitalization of six young people in our community. As a parent who lost her son to gun violence, I understand the shock and horror these parents are experiencing. No mother or father should be afraid to let their son or daughter go play at the park, attend school or go to the movie theater, yet they are forced to live in fear as gun violence continues to wreak havoc on our communities. We cannot turn a blind eye to gun violence and we cannot let more kids become a statistic. These are precious lives that must be cared for and protected. As more details unfold, I am keeping the teens and their loved ones in my thoughts and want to extend my sincerest gratitude to the first responders who tended to the scene. 

Colorado Sen. Rhonda Fields (D-Aurora)

Today, we were alerted to the news that six students from Aurora Central High School were injured in yet another tragic act of gun violence. My heart breaks for them and their families, and I pray for their full and speedy recovery. No parent should ever have to meet their child at the hospital or pick up their student from school because of gun violence. I am grateful to the first responders, teachers and school administrators who responded to the shooting. Too many people are dying by firearms in our country. It is a public health crisis, and we should treat it with the seriousness that demands. I know our community will come together and help each other heal the pain that we all feel today.

Colorado Rep. Dominique Jackson (D-Aurora)

No suspects are in custody and police continue to ask for the public’s help in identifying those involved in the crime.

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