Colorado police were searching Monday for the suspects in a drive-by shooting that left six teens injured at a park near a high school in the Denver suburbs.
The victims, ranging in age from 14 to 18, are all students at Aurora Central High School and all are expected to survive, police chief Vanessa Wilson said. One victim was in emergency surgery on Monday afternoon, according to local reports.
Multiple rounds of different calibers were found at the scene in Nome Park, and it is possible some rounds were fired by someone on foot, Wilson said. Multiple streets around the scene remained closed as the shooting investigation continues, according to police.
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Three victims were taken to Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora, a diverse city east of Denver. They were in stable condition and have all been reunited with their families, according to a spokesperson.
“When I got the call, my heart dropped,” Wilson said. “Enough is enough. We need to come together as a community.”
Police are asking for neighbors and other bystanders to share any videos or photos from phones or house surveillance systems that might help identify potential suspects. According to KDVR 31, Denver’s Fox affiliate, multiple other violent crimes have taken place at the park in 2021, including three aggravated assaults.
Aurora Central was placed on a “secure perimeter” after the shooting, police said. That typically means no one is allowed in or out of a school but students and staff are able to move freely within the building
Aariah McClain, a 15-year-old student, said she heard gunfire as she was walking near the school’s football field during lunch. She first heard four shots, then “a whole lot more.”
“I was shocked,” she said of the shooting, as she waited outside the school with her father, Harold McClain, for her 14-year-old sister to be dismissed.
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Evette Mitchell rushed to the school to get her son, Trevell, 15, who was in gym class when he heard the gunshots.
Mitchell said she is frustrated because another shooting involving three teens happened near the school on a recent weekend. Mitchell added parents get blamed for youth violence, but there are no affordable activities offered for students in the area.
“Everything costs. We’re all low-income families so it’s hard for us to find something for these kids to do,” said Mitchell, who said her son was going to be in online classes for the rest of the week because of the shooting.
According to U.S. News and World Report’s high school rankings, 67% of the school’s approximately 2,000 students are considered economically disadvantaged, qualifying for free or reduced lunch.
Contributing: The Associated Press