AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Neighbors near Overland High School who heard gunshots Friday are still shaken by what they saw and heard.
“There was a shootout. There was probably 17 to 30 kids running around shooting at each other,” said Anthony, a neighbor who tried to save the teenage boy who was shot.
Anthony, who wants to keep his face and last name anonymous for safety reasons, said his fatherly instincts kicked in the moment he looked outside and realized what was going on.
“I looked outside and saw a kid laying face down,” Anthony said.
The Arapahoe County Coroner confirmed the teen’s identity as 15-year-old Christian Lopez. He would have turned 16 in May.
The Cherry Creek School District confirmed on Monday that he was a sophomore at Overland High School.
Lopez’s family has created a verified GoFundMe:
Christian was born on May 17th, 2006 and changed our lives for the better. He had a heart of gold and while he was shy, he was full of life, radiated positivity, joy, and love. He was a student at Overland High School. He loved video games, the beach, cars, anime, and playing uno. His loss is an unfathomable tragedy that his loved ones and our community will struggle with for years to come.Lopez family GoFundMe
Anthony said both he and his 19-year-old son tried to perform CPR and applied pressure to Lopez’s gunshot wound, trying to save his life.
“He didn’t suffer. It was immediate. There was no pain. I got to him about 20 seconds after that last shot,” Anthony said.
Since the shooting, he’s been in constant contact with Lopez’s family after connecting with them on Facebook.
“They mentioned he was not a gang member, they were surprised he was in this area ’cause this is not his area,” Anthony said. He said the family is trying to heal.
“I think he was hanging with the wrong kids and these kids were confronted by the gangs,” he said.
As a father of a teen, he said he worries about their safety and hopes recent schools seeing a spike in teen-on-teen violence make the changes to keep students safe. He suggests they add metal detectors so students can’t bring guns or knifes inside.
“I think Aurora has been changing, especially the school system. It seems to be a crib for gang members,” Anthony said.
The school district said they will have support on campus for students they stated in a letter to parents Monday.
“We are writing to you so that you may have conversations with your own child, if need be. Certainly, the unexpected news warrants a watchful eye including behavior at home and communication via technology.
“There is no right or wrong way to cope with death, but there are some things that adults can do to help children work through this difficult time. We are including links to resources that may be helpful to aid in any conversations you might have.
Mental health staff will be available to support students when school resumes after spring break. In the meantime, if students need additional support, the following resources are available:
- Colorado Crisis Services (844-493-TALK or text TALK to 38255
- Aurora Mental Health (303-617-2300 Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)”