By a Biometrica staffer
A drive-by shooting around 1 pm on Monday, Nov. 15, in Aurora, Colorado, has left six teenagers (four boys and two girls between the ages of 14 and 18) injured, according to police. The incident occurred at the suburban Nome Park near Aurora Central High School, which all the victims attended.
According to police, multiple rounds from different guns were found at the scene, and it’s possible that one suspect was on foot. The first to arrive on the scene were the police who were assigned to the school. They applied a tourniquet on one victim, who then underwent emergency surgery.
After the shooting was reported, police were forced to establish a “secure perimeter” around the school, meaning that those inside the school were allowed to move freely within the building, though no one would be allowed to enter or exit. No shots were fired inside the school and shortly afterward, the school district canceled classes for the day, and parents were allowed to pick up their children.
Five of the victims were taken to the hospital via ambulance, while the sixth self-transported. Three needed urgent care, though the injuries were non-life-threatening. All six were reunited with their families at the hospital.
Police chief Vanessa Wilson is asking for anyone with information or tips to come forward so that the shooter(s) can be identified, including anyone with images or videos from home surveillance systems. Officers are following up on several leads, she said, and added that she did not want to make public any particulars as she did not want to “implicate any innocent bystanders.”
Wilson also called for the public as a whole to be “outraged” by this latest in a string of violent incidents to strike the community so far this year. One parent said there had been another shooting involving three teens near the same school a few weekends ago.
Nome Park itself was the site of three different aggravated assaults earlier this year, one of which involved a gun. One news report said that there have been at least three other gun-related aggravated assaults across the street from the park. The park was also the site of a gang-related shooting in 2019, for which a teen was charged with attempted first-degree murder.
The Denver metro area, as a whole, was plagued by violence this weekend, with police reporting at least eight separate incidents between Sunday evening and Monday morning. On Sunday night, a separate shooting around 5 miles away from the high school resulted in the death of an 18-year-old. Multiple others were left with serious injuries from the different incidents, which included both shootings and stabbings.
Yesterday we wrote about how violence among young people is on the rise and what the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention’s (OJJDP) Youth Violence Prevention and Reduction Program is trying to do about it. This can involve gang involvement, though it also applies to other teen-on-teen shootings with no gang ties.
Aurora also launched a Youth Violence Prevention Program earlier this year, to “develop a model inclusive of public health, prevention and intervention efforts that are based on national models and best practices to prevent and address youth violence in the short-term and the long-term.”
The Associated Press cited a U.S. News and World Report ranking that said over two-thirds of Aurora Central High School students are considered economically disadvantaged. This affects the range of opportunities and activities available to young kids to guide them away from a life of violence and from potentially becoming involved with gangs.