Crime

Fifteen Aurora Youths Shot, One Killed in Two Weeks

Aurora police on the scene of the latest shooting early on November 28.
Aurora police on the scene of the latest shooting early on November 28. Denver7 via YouTube
Early on November 28, five people between the ages of sixteen and twenty were shot on the 1500 block of Dayton Street in Aurora. The incident follows the shooting of six teens on November 15 in Nome Park, near the campus of Aurora Central High School, the November 19 wounding of three teens in the parking lot of Aurora's Hinkley High School, and another episode that's gotten less attention despite its deadly consequences — a November 24 shooting on South Addison Way in which an adult killed a teenager amid an exchange of gunfire.

A total of fifteen young people were shot and one died in these four incidents, which took place within a two-week period.

Two fifteen-year-olds have been arrested in relation to the Nome Park shooting; their identifies have not been released by the Aurora Police Department because of their age. The same is true for the three sixteen-year-olds busted for the Hinkley High shooting. And while no arrests have been announced to date in the Addison Way shooting, investigators know that the person who fired the fatal shot is a former police officer.

No busts have yet been made in connection with yesterday's shooting on Dayton Street, which took place less than a day after a prayer vigil focusing on youth violence that was attended by Mayor Mike Coffman and Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson. Here's Wilson's tweet about the gathering, complete with a photo of many community leaders on hand:
Three days earlier, at approximately 10:30 p.m. November 24, Aurora officers had been called to the 4900 block of South Addison Way in regard to a shooting. They found two males suffering from gunshot wounds — one seventeen, the other 36. The teen didn't survive his wounds, while the alleged second shooter, identified as a onetime Greenwood Village police officer not currently employed by a law enforcement agency, is expected to survive.

Based on interviews with witnesses at the scene, investigators believe an argument between a group of youths and the 36-year-old led the teen and the adult to draw weapons and fire shots at one another. "Detectives are actively working to determine who the primary aggressor is and the circumstances leading up to the shot being fired, but no arrests have been made," according to an APD release. The 18th Judicial District DA's office will ultimately determine whether charges are justified.

At 12:04 a.m. November 28, Aurora police officers again responded to a report of a shooting, this time near the intersection of Dayton Street and East Colfax Avenue. There they located two male victims with gunshot wounds and rendered first aid before the two were transported to a nearby hospital. Their wounds aren't thought to be life-threatening, and three other young males with gunshot wounds who self-transported to a medical facility should also recover. One sixteen-year-old, one eighteen-year-old, two nineteen-year-olds, and one twenty-year-old all received care.

Subsequent reports note that the officers at the scene encountered a large group of people who'd been attending a party in the basement of a business at 9709 East Colfax Avenue. The address corresponds to the House of Beauty Salon. Investigators are looking into a possible connection between the party and the shooting, but the APD isn't releasing any suspect information at this time. Anyone with information can contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).

Meanwhile, the attendees of the weekend prayer vigil have more victims in their thoughts.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts