Shooting at Juneteenth celebration in Aurora leaves 1 dead, cops say

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AURORA | A shooting at an unofficial Juneteenth celebration at Rocky Ridge Park Friday night has left an unidentified 17-year-old male dead, Aurora police said early Saturday morning. 

The Aurora Police Department opened a homicide investigation after officers received several reports Friday night near 8 p.m. of a shooting at a Juneteenth celebration commemorating the day African-American slaves in the United States learned of their emancipation.

At the park located near Mississippi Avenue just west of Buckley Road, officers found a 17-year-old male with a gunshot wound. The juvenile was transported to a local hospital where he died, according to Aurora police.

“This tragedy cuts to the core of all our hearts,” Interim Police Chief Vanessa Wilson said Saturday night in a tweet. “Praying for his family and friends. I ask the community to pray for peace for our city.”

A police tweet said there were more than 1,000 people at the gathering. Aurora and Denver had no official in-person events this year because of the pandemic.  

Investigators said the identity of the juvenile will be released after family members are notified, usually by Arapahoe County coroner officials.

In a blog post, APD encouraged anyone with information about the crime to call for Agent Glenn at 303.739.6068. APD also says anonymous tips can be sent to Denver Metro Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP (7867) for a reward of up to $2,000.