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Crime and Courts

6 Aurora Central High School students hospitalized after drive-by shooting at nearby park

All are expected to survive their gunshot wounds, and police are searching for the assailants.

Aurora police officers investigate a shooting at East 12th Avenue and Nome Street in Aurora that sent six teenagers to the hospital with injuries. Shell casings from multiple calibers of guns were found at the scene on Nov. 15, 2021. (Jeremy Sparig, Special to The Colorado Sun)
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AURORA — Six teenagers were wounded in a shooting at an Aurora park near their high school Monday afternoon.

All of the victims attend Aurora Central High School. All are expected to survive, though one was undergoing emergency surgery.

“My understanding is it was a drive-by shooting,” said Aurora police Chief Vanessa Wilson. She added that there are reports there may have been shooters on foot, too.

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Shell casings from guns of multiple calibers were found at the scene. Wilson said the shooters are being sought.

Wilson credited police officers assigned to Aurora Central High School with saving the life of the wounded teen who is in emergency surgery.

“They applied lifesaving measures in the form of a tourniquet,” she said.

The shooting happened at about 12:45 p.m. at Nome Park in western Aurora, near the intersection of Peoria Street and East 11th Avenue.

Police said the victims range from 14 to 18 years old.

Authorities said the one 18-year-old wounded in the shooting had minor injuries and took themself to a hospital. Police didn’t elaborate on the conditions of the other victims.

A spokeswoman for Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora said it received three patients from the shooting. The spokeswoman, Caitlyn Jenney, declined to provide their ages and said only that the victims were in “stable condition” and have been reunited with their families.

“No other information will be released at this time,” the hospital said in a written statement.

Wilson said gang unit officers from Aurora and Denver are assisting with the investigation.

“When I got the call my heart dropped,” she said. “I think enough is enough. And I think we need to come together as a community. This is a public health crisis. There’s a violence crisis across the nation right now. I think we all need to pay attention.”

Asked if dozens of shots were fired, Wilson would say only that “multiple shots were fired.”

Aurora Police Department Chief Vanessa Wilson speaks to reporters near the scene of a drive-by shooting that left six teenagers injured, Monday, Nov. 15, 2021, in Aurora, Colo. (Philip B. Poston/Sentinel Colorado via AP)

Aurora Public Schools officials planned an “increased security presence at and around the school” in the wake of the shooting and said mental health counselors would be available for students and staff.

“We are disgusted by this and other senseless acts of violence against our children ,” district Superintendent Rico Munn and Board of Education President Kyla Armstrong-Romero said in a joint statement asking for the community’s continued support.

The high school was placed on “secure perimeter” after the shooting.

Images from a TV news helicopter in the area of the shooting showed a swarm of police vehicles at Nome Park.

Lloyd Samuels was leaving a nearby coin laundry when he heard what he thought were more than 20 shots in rapid succession.

“I was just hoping it was nobody I knew,” said Samuels, who lives with his stepson, and whose grandson lives a few blocks from Nome Park. “I worry about my family. This is too close to home. Nothing is worth this.”

Brian Raymer, 70, lives across the street from the park in a house his family bought in 1951.

People walking on East 13th Avenue toward Nome Street watch Aurora police investigate a shooting that occurred at Nome Park in Aurora, Colorado, on Nov. 15, 2021. The shooting, which police characterized as a drive by, left six teens injured. (Jeremy Sparig, Special to The Colorado Sun).

“I’m not surprised, but I’m disheartened,” Raymer said of the shooting. “There’s a lot of trouble at this park. You see kids hanging out here when they should be in school.”

Crystal Brown, whose daughter Malayzia Jones is a sophomore at Aurora Central, said she was working on her car when she got a voicemail from the school that students were being released early after a shooting.

“I was a nervous wreck,” said Brown, 57.

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She said she felt a wave of relief when she was reunited with her daughter outside the school.

Brown, a mother of six and grandmother of seven, said she has lived in the neighborhood near Nome Park 16 years and generally considers it safe. But she said it feels like violence is getting worse.

“When my older kids were in school, sure, you’d hear about fights. But shootings? Come on. I don’t understand why people can’t get along. Come together.”

Malayzia, 15, said she was in class when she heard gunshots outside.

“Honestly I’m not surprised,” Jones said. “Kids at this school make stupid decisions” like bringing weapons to school.

Jones said others at school told her who the shooting victims were. She knows several of them personally.

“It’s hurtful, but I just hope they’re OK,” she said. “Sounds like it was just a stupid beef between kids.”

Aurora police officers investigate a shooting at East 12th Avenue and Nome Street in Aurora that sent six teenagers to the hospital with injuries. Shell casings from multiple calibers of guns were found at the scene on Nov. 15, 2021. (Jeremy Sparig, Special to The Colorado Sun)

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