What comes next in wake of teen violence? Aurora leaders weigh in

Local News

AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Three teens are now out of the hospital, recovering after gunshots erupted in the Hinkley High School parking lot Friday afternoon, officials say.

While police investigate, Aurora city leaders debate how to tackle growing teen violence in the metro area.

“How do young people get access to all these firearms? How can we get them off the street?” Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman said.

Coffman says he was driving to a peace rally in response to a shooting near Central High School when he saw the emergency response outside Hinkley High School.

“I thought, oh my gosh, I hope this isn’t another shooting,” Coffman said.

The mayor says it’s still unclear what the motivation was behind both shootings, however, he notes the Aurora Police Department is currently understaffed. Due to staffing issues, officers have been reallocated from certain units, with the department making moves such as transferring officers from the gang intervention unit to patrol.

“As we increase our [staffing] numbers, we’ll be able to fully staff units like our gang intervention unit,” Coffman said.

Coffman says solutions to staffing shortages are already underway, citing additional police academy classes.

Aurora Councilmember Alison Coombs says she has reached out to the city manager about four vacant positions in its youth violence prevention program, adding the city allocated $280,000 for a pilot program that has not yet been started. 

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