AURORA | An unidentified teen boy is dead after a shooting in the parking lot of the Town Center at Aurora mall Saturday that began with some kind of dispute in the food court as the mall was getting ready to close, police said.

Aurora Interim Police Chief Art Acevedo told reporters later that just after shots were fired at about 8 p.m. by apparently one person, police were on the scene administering CPR to the victim, who was pronounced dead at Children’s Hospital Colorado.

Uniformed, off-duty officers providing security at the mall and a movie multiplex across the parking lot responded immediately first to the reported altercation inside the mall and then the shooting outside, police said.

The shooting occurred on the west side of the mall, outside Dillards, police reported.

Acevedo said they are certain they will find the shooter.

“If you are the individual, turn yourself in,” Acevedo told reporters. “Because we are going to catch you.”

Police said the relationship between the shooter and victim was undetermined so far.

Acevedo said the shooting was indicative of widespread recent violence he blames on local judges for releasing convicts to commit more crimes.

“We’re chasing these young people in one door and out the other,” Acevedo said. “Folks get hurt and folks get killed””

He said “it’s time for the courts and the Legislature to get serious about juvenile violence.”

It’s unclear from state or Aurora records how much crime is committed by people previously convicted of other crimes, but the city, as well as communities in the metroplex, have reported an alarming increase in shootings and other violent crimes during the past few years, according to Aurora and Denver police recordsAurora police recorded more than 200 shootings in 2022.

The chief also talked about an apparently unrelated and unreleased “crime spree” in Aurora earlier in the day involving possibly multiple car-jackings. In that case four unidentified juveniles were arrested and at least one is suspected in a shooting.

He said the metro community, including parents, must reel in juveniles and talked about the need for a juvenile curfew.

“When (juveniles) get releases, we’re going to start keeping tabs and start reporting,” he said. He challenged the media to report on those efforts.

The city earlier this month announced a new program intending to guide violent teens and young adults away from crime and violence and advise them continuing criminal activity will draw fierce criminal justice.

The shooting comes in the shadow of a student shooting two administrators last week at Denver’s East High School, drawing protests and demands that police and lawmakers act to reel end gun violence, especially among teens and young adults.

Acevedo also repeated his recent approval for Aurora police to chase suspects in police cars in an effort to prevent them from getting away, despite the risks to the public.

Acevedo said the chases are necessary to keep criminals from thinking they can just effortlessly leave crime scene, but he admitted that “someone will die” because of an Aurora police chase and cops will be blamed for the death “instead of the individual fleeing.”

Such police chases have been controversial for decades with police experts often being critical of the benefit against often deadly risks to the public.

He admonished motorists who had failed to yield just minutes earlier as police were rushing on I-225 to get the mall shooting.

He said several cars either stopped, pulled left or ignored police cars with lights and sirens.
“Just pull to the right” Acevedo said. 

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  1. At one time not so long ago APD had a small sub-station within the mall. The gang presence within the mall anymore has got to be hurting business for all the little shops. Gangsters don’t buy much they prefer the stealing method of shopping. Who’s running the show? The gangs or the merchants?
    This is heading to be Aurora’s next intercity wasteland.

  2. Drivers would gladly helpolice but must figure out whereto move.

    Drivers who do not yield are likely just surprised or do not discover until late that an emergencyehicle is approaching. (Todays vehicles are sound-insulated better than ever and may havexcellent stereo systems in use.)

    ALWAYSIGNAL what you intend to do!
    Often it is best to change lanes to the Right and themergencyehicle passes on the left.
    On Interstate highways many drivers in lane #1 (left lane) move left to geto the center median shoulder to get out of the way.

    As a (AAA) Driver Instructor in college, I know that we tend to be most concerned about right lane changes because it is more difficult to notice vehicles on our right.

    Signal and glance right to check for vehicles. If an open space, usually slightly accelerate to move into the space. (We tend to slowhen changing lanes.)

    Drivers in the right laneshould also be slowing and moving right for themergencyehicle. Such will help vehicles in front of themergencyehicle get out of the way.

    1. Yes, after the East High School shooting, we now all know that the murderer could very well be enrolled at your local high school. He could even be known to be extremely dangerous and he would still be free to drive a car to the school and sit beside your child in a regular classroom.
      It really doesn’t matter what color the kid is…if their behavior is dangerous get ’em off the streets and into a dedicated facility!

  3. Meanwhile, our democratic state legislature moves to raise the age of accountability for these out-of-control kids.

    1. Meanwhile the Republican state legislature stands outside and hands kids loaded guns…

      1. Meanwhile, “FactsOverFeelings” completely omitted the first 2/3 of his screenname, and lit a strawman on fire that burned so hot, the satellites at Buckley picked up the heat signature.

  4. It is refreshing to hear a chief actually talk about the problems with the justice system. Our legislature continues to go in exactly the opposite direction necessary to protect regular citizens. The radicals have decided that we need to protect juveniles from all responsibility. While on the job, I observed that the Juvenile Justice System was upside down. A juvenile got many different breaks and diversions before he/she was ever held accountable. The lax system taught the juvenile that there was nothing to fear from the justice system. That lack of certainty of punishment continued in the adult system. Our system needs to be stern early.

    When I was working, over 60% of the crime was committed by juveniles. That includes violent crime. The psychologists were telling us that many of the juveniles were now “monsters” who could not be rehabilitated. These kids had grown up in environments without any moral or social restrictions or guidance. When committing acts of violence, their blood pressure and heart rate did not go up. They were essentially immune to the emotions that governed the rest of us. We want to protect them from accountability, no matter how much damage they do to their teachers and to the kids around them. We are more interested in firing the teacher who lays hands on a fighting juvenile than we are in protecting our other kids, the teachers, and the whole system of education. The kid has no responsibility to behave like a human being. In my day, if I had been handcuffed by the police or fought with a teacher. God help me when I got home. Now, everyone is a victim and we have to go after the mean teacher who stopped the fight. My friends, who are educators have many stories of teachers assaulted by violent juveniles who leave teachers gravely injured and face no repercussions. We don’t want these kids traumatized by the presence of a uniformed police officer. I guess the shootings they are doing in their off school time are not traumatizing.

    The police reform bill has already damaged law enforcement to a point where enforcement is at a very low point. If we continue to get more lax on juveniles, we are making a really ugly future for our country and our children.

    1. “Chasing suspects is Dangerous.” you say—- Perhaps. Why do you think chasing a stolen car which is a high percentage of what these criminals are in and risk the public greater as could care less. Fantastic….

  5. What’s the description of the person? Most likely black since they exclude that from the article

  6. A 6′ 250# 15 year old ain’t no kid.
    School discipline has become lax due to parents demanding no one touches their kid.
    Allowing them to dress anyway they please is bad.
    Allowing them to sass their teachers is bad.
    Allowing bullying is bad.
    If a kid is failing,maybe re evaluate and concentrate their classes on R,W, basic math and include an apprenticeship . Not everyone is going to college.
    An the incorrigible ones? Perhaps need military style schooling to help them self discipline.

  7. As we watch this saga unfold don’t be surprised of the legal impact we will watch. The mall will be sued for not protecting its customers well enough. The city will likely be threatened as well for pulling back on their mission they once had to respond to problems within the mall. Specifically, now as things are much more dangerous there.

    1. Even at the height of gang activity in Aurora in the early-mid-90s, and it was really bad then, you didn’t see this happen at the mall. There was a pretty strong police and security presence that kept things from getting out of hand, plus the military bases still had enough people living around the area that the bad elements usually stayed in their west and NW Aurora hoods.

      That changed in the mid-2000s, and now it’s something that happens every couple of years or so.

      1. FWO- How would you like to go to work or have a little shop in the Town mall and struggle with this ongoing mess? Buckingham Square shopping center got so bad they tore it down and went to an outside individual entrance to each shop. Gangsters don’t like to hang out and stand on a sidewalk in the cold.

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