AURORA | Police say they shot and killed an armed teenager Thursday afternoon after the boy and others stole vaping canisters from an Aurora convenience store and tried to run from police.
The fleeing boy, later identified by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office as 14-year-old Jor’Dell Da’Shawn Richardson, was fatally shot about 4:30 p.m. by an unidentified officer during some kind of struggle with police trying to arrest him.
“An Aurora police gang sergeant on routine patrol noticed several teenagers wearing medical masks and hooded sweatshirts approaching a convenience store near East Eighth Avenue and North Dayton Street,” police said in a statement. “The sergeant radioed for additional gang officers to respond to the scene to investigate the suspicious activity.”
Before police could arrive, the boys were seen running from the store. Police later learned they had stolen “several vape canisters” and that one of the boys “threatened the clerk with a firearm,” police said.
During a later press conference, APD Chief Art Acevedo said one of the boys had a semi-automatic pistol in his waistband and flashed it to a convenience store clerk, saying something “to the effect that I’m not here to mess around.”
He said that boy was the same teenager later shot by police.
The store clerk “gave them the vape, a lot of vape, and they took off on foot,” he said.
As more police arrived, one of the boys was arrested without incident. Another was arrested, also without incident, several blocks away a short time later.
“Several more sped away in a stolen Kia Sedona minivan featuring license plate CNS P11,” police said.
Neither the car nor the boys have not been found as of the time of this report.
“A third suspect who tried to run was contacted by officers and was found to be armed with a firearm,” police said. “During a struggle to take him into custody, one officer fired (his) weapon.”
Acevedo said the boy was struggling with the officers and one told him, “Let go of the gun. Let go of the gun. Let go of the gun. At one point, one of the officers discharges his firearm.”
Acevedo said he reviewed police body camera footage before the press conference.
Police attempted to revive the boy until rescuers arrived. He was rushed to a nearby hospital but did not survive his single gunshot wound.
“This is a tragedy all the way around,” Acevedo said. “You have a young person, a group of young people going into a store that is being operated by a working family trying to make a living, and they go in there with a semiautomatic firearm. Kids think this is a video game. This is not a video game. This is the real world.”
Police said the officer who shot the boy was placed on paid administrative leave, as part of Aurora police policy.
“An Internal Affairs Bureau investigation also is underway and will run in concert with the criminal investigations,” police spokesperson Joe Moylan said in a statement.
The officer involved shooting is being investigated by an 18th Judicial District Critical Incident Response Team, as dictated by state law. APD’s gang unit and robbery unit are investigating the vape canister robbery inside the convenience store.
Acevedo said the officer involved in the shooting has been with the department since 2017, and he has been part of the city’s gang intervention unit since 2019.
“I actually know him very well,” Acevedo said. “ I can tell you it’s pretty tough for him to deal with and process taking a life. The public doesn’t get to see that…when an officer makes that decision and takes a shot.”
Police said additional units will continue to search for the suspects who fled the scene.