Six teens shot at park next to Aurora Central High School

Six teenagers were injured in a mid-day shooting Monday at a park across the street from an Aurora high school, police said.

All six victims, who range in age from 14 to 18, are students at Aurora Central High School and have been hospitalized, Aurora police Chief Vanessa Wilson said at a news conference. None of the injuries are believed to be life-threatening but one of the teens is undergoing emergency surgery, she said.

Investigators believe multiple suspects opened fire in and near Nome Park, at 12th Avenue and Nome Street, and believe suspects fired from a car and possibly from on foot as well, Wilson said. No suspects have been detained. The suspects fired multiple guns and police have collected ammunition of different calibers, Wilson said.

“I need us all to be outraged about what happened here today,” Wilson said, urging people who might know something about the shooting to contact police.

School resource officers responded first to the scene, Wilson said. One officer used a tourniquet on one of the victims and likely saved the teen’s life, she said.

Five of the teens, ages 14 to 17, were transported to hospitals by ambulance. An 18-year-old also drove to the hospital with minor injuries, police said.

All six victims are cooperating with police, Wilson said. She called gun violence in Aurora a public health crisis.

“When I got the call my heart dropped,” she said.

Aurora Central High School, which is adjacent to the park, was placed on secure perimeter, police said. Aurora Public Schools will be sending emails to parents communicating how the dismissal of Central High students will be handled, police said.

Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora received three patients who were described as being in stable condition and have been reunited with their families, spokeswoman Caitlin Jenney said. It’s unclear if they have been discharged. Jenney said she could not provide any more information.

Two patients were taken to UCHealth University of Colorado Hospital in Aurora, spokesman Dan Weaver said. He declined to describe their conditions.

Henry Martinez lives across the street and said he heard what seemed like more than 30 gunshots. Nome Park is always full of kids hanging out during lunch, he said. Martinez said he wondered why police don’t patrol the area more.

“It’s so sad,” he said. “These kids are so young — to just throw away their lives like that… it just doesn’t make sense.”

Chet Lloyd Samuels was at a nearby laundromat around 1 p.m. when he heard a series of gunshots.

“It sounded like Iraq” he said, praying that there weren’t kids involved. “It’s a shame.”

The shooting Monday follows a series of shootings in recent weeks that killed and maimed Aurora teens.

Two 16-year-olds were shot on Oct. 22 and one of the victims died of his injuries. The next day, a 15-year-old boy was shot and killed. An 18-year-old was injured in a shooting on Oct. 24 and, three days later, two 17-year-olds were injured in an Oct. 27 shooting. Another 18-year-old was shot and killed Sunday.

In November 2020, both Aurora and Denver city leaders declared youth violence a public health crisis “that knows no borders and that continues to inflict a devasting toll on both communities.” Both cities have seen an increasing number of teens killed in homicides over the last few years.

Aurora leaders in April created the Youth Violence Prevention Program in response to the increased violence.

This is a developing story that will be updated.

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