An armed attack near a school left six young people injured this afternoon. The shooting took place around 12:45 (local time in the west of the United States) in the park that is in front of the Central High School of Aurora, in the State of Colorado, on the outskirts of the city of Denver. Emergency services transferred five of the injured to hospitals. Yet another, an 18-year-old, took himself to a health center with minor injuries. One of the patients underwent emergency surgery and is progressing favorably. All the injured are stable and out of danger, Police Chief Vanessa Williams confirmed Monday afternoon, calling the incident one more symptom of the crisis of violence in the United States. “This is very worrying for the city and for the country. We are experiencing a public health crisis when we talk about armed violence ”, he pointed out.
Williams has explained in the press conference that the six injured youths are students of the school. The attack was not carried out on school property, but only a few meters away from the educational center. None of the injured was armed, he added. The authorities have found several casings of weapons of different calibers in the area. The police believe, according to the testimony of some neighbors, that the shots were fired from a moving car and by a subject on foot. The agents are looking for “multiple suspects” who escaped after the attack. No weapon has been recovered as of yet. “I hope some children know what happened this afternoon. They must step forward and share with us what happened, “said the police chief, who asked neighbors to share photographs or images from surveillance cameras to incorporate into the investigation.
The authorities did not report on the lines of investigation that are being followed in this case. Williams, however, told reporters that a group of Denver police who specialize in gangs is supporting the investigations. Struggles between gang members are the engine of much of the urban violence that plagues cities in all latitudes of the United States. “I need everyone to be very angry about what happened this afternoon,” Williams said, hoping to receive anonymous reports that help understand what happened. “We need to find a way to stop this crisis of violence that the whole country is experiencing,” he added.
Armed violence has left an indelible scar on Auora’s memory. In July 2012, 24-year-old James Holmes entered a local movie theater armed to the teeth and opened fire on an audience watching The Dark Knight Rises. The killer opened two gas canisters to cause panic and began firing at all 71 onlookers. He killed 12 people, earning him a 3,318-year prison sentence. Years ago, in December 1993, a 19-year-old who had been fired from the Chuck E. Cheese children’s restaurant took out his frustration at the diners by killing four people on site. The sentence for this multi-murderer was changed to life in prison last year, when Colorado abolished the death penalty.
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George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.