Neighbors vow to leave Aurora apartment complex where police believe teen shot, wounded 5


AURORA | Some residents say they want to move out of a close-quarters apartment complex where three juveniles and two adults were shot and wounded, apparently during a chaotic party, Saturday night.

Police responded to reports of a shooting just before 11 p.m. Jan. 11 in the Courtyards at Buckley apartments, according to preliminary information provided on an Aurora Police Department blog.

The complex, located at 2134 S Richfield Way, is a maze of three-story buildings that center around small courtyards. Crime scene tape is still visible dangling off the side of one building, near the ground-level apartment of Michael Springer, 27. Springer said he lives directly below the shooting scene. On Saturday night, he said heard a party spiral out of control until gunshots were fired.

“I heard someone scream ‘No!’ and then ‘pop-pop,’” he said, imitating gunshots.

Springer said people began running from the second story down a flight of stairs directly in front of his door, leaving a “blood path” while someone apparently kept shooting.

The shooting was the last straw for Springer. He said he’d be walking to the leasing office later Monday to ask his landlord to break the lease.

Kyle Vickers, 22, lives in a neighboring building in the Courtyards at Buckley. He said he was getting ready to pack boxes after having another shooting in the complex happen while he was home.

“This place sucks,” he said of the complex. “We’re actually moving out right now.”

Aurora police did not immediately respond to a request for reports detailing the department’s response to the complex in recent years.

Vickers and Springer said violence is common in the complex. Vickers recalled a different shooting at a party about a year-and-a-half ago. He said armed officers were roaming the apartment staircases and walkways, as police did Saturday night.

Property managers said they are cooperating with police but declined to comment on safety at the complex.

“We are obviously aware of the incident, and we are doing everything we can do with the Aurora police department,” said Shanna Martinez, a community manager for Echelon Property Group.

Martinez said the Greenwood Village-based property management group recently took over the Courtyards at Buckley, but Martinez would not say when. She also would not say how many people live in the Aurora apartment complex.

“I’m not really comfortable answering any more questions,” Martinez said.

When responding to the shooting reports Saturday night, Aurora police found three shooting victims and determined two other shooting victims had already left for area emergency rooms, said Aurora police spokesman Matt Longshore.

“We understand that an incident like this can be unnerving to those who live in the area,” he said Sunday.

That was true for Brooke Carey, 22. She said she doesn’t live in the complex, but was watching her niece and nephew Monday in an apartment near Springer’s.

“Hearing that it happened around my niece and nephew is horrible,” she said of the shooting. The violence left her “just a little traumatized,” she added.

The five shooting victims — two girls, one boy and two adult men — are hospitalized in serious condition but expected to survive, Officer Longshore said in an email. All are 16 or older.

Police announced an arrest in connection with the shooting late Monday evening. Investigators have arrested a 16-year-old boy on suspicion of attempted first-degree murder and several other charges, according to Longshore.

In the days after the shooting, investigators were searching for a black male wearing a yellow, hooded sweatshirt, police said. This weekend, Longshore said a motive wasn’t immediately clear.

Police continue to search for additional suspects.

“This investigation is a top priority for our agency,” Interim Chief Vanessa Wilson said in a statement issued Sunday morning. “We have all of our resources working around the clock right now conducting interviews and collecting evidence. We need the community to come together with us to stop this senseless violence to protect our youth.”

Springer said he wasn’t sure how a person apparently running through a crowded apartment complex shooting people was not immediately apprehended.

— Reporter Quincy Snowdon contributed to this report.