AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — A suspect has been identified in the killing of a 15-year-old boy as officials work to quell worries about safety near the Aurora shopping mall where he was killed.

Raphael Velin was killed at the Southlands shopping center on Sept. 30. Police now say they have issued an arrest warrant for a suspect in the killing.

“To the family of the suspect, you need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. This individual is wanted for murder,” interim Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo said.

Acevedo said the teen’s killing was not related to homecoming celebrations, but he said it was a risky pre-planned meeting.

The council member who represents the ward where the Southlands Shopping Center is located, Francoise Bergan, said she now plans to meet with businesses there.

“I want them to know that we do hear them, although this was not a random shooting, and they should not fear obviously going out and about with their business, but that we do hear them and we understand their fear and their concerns,” Bergan said.

A spokesperson for Southlands said they are working with police as they conduct an investigation.

Police vehicles and crime scene tape outside of a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant at night
A teen died after he was shot and killed outside of the Southlands shopping mall in Aurora on Sept. 30, 2023. (KDVR)

Police: Aurora major crimes are down

As the search for Velin’s killer continues, Acevedo also said a large number of major crimes committed in Aurora are down so far this year compared to last year.

  • Murders are down 3.4%.
  • Aggravated assaults are down 13%.
  • Robberies are down 36%.
  • Motor vehicle thefts are down 26.3%.

Only sex assaults and burglaries were up, according to Acevedo.

Acevedo said he would not name the suspect in the mall killing, but police hope to make an arrest in the next few days.

Meantime, Bergan plans to meet with Southlands businesses on Wednesday.