Six teens were injured in the Aurora High School shooting during a drive-by attack on Monday. The Colorado school was placed under lockdown as the victims were rushed to the hospital where they are all recovering with non-life threatening wounds.
No known deaths have been reported, and the names of the teenagers have not been released. The six children are said to be in the 14 to 18 age range, with one victim undergoing emergency surgery.
Vanessa Wilson, Aurora’s police chief, told reporters at a press conference on Monday that the six teens are expected to make a recovery. An unnamed school resource police officer who applied a tourniquet on the student most likely save their life, Wilson said.
The shooting reportedly started around 12:45 p.m. at Nome Park, located near Aurora Central High School. The drive-by shooting attackers fled the park and police quickly arrived and secured the perimeter.
The gunmen are still at large, as police try to understand what happened that led to the shooting. None of the suspects named have been identified, and it is unknown how many of them were in the vehicle.
Police Chief Vanessa Wilson also announced that it was too early to know if the attack was gang related, and is spending the time after the Aurora High School shooting searching for the gunmen and praying for the full recoveries of the victims.
According to Fox News, three of the victims are currently being treated at Children’s Hospital and two are at UCHealth. The parents of all the teenagers shot have been notified.
“When I got the call, my heart dropped,” Wilson said. “I’m hoping that there’s kids out there that know why this happened.”
She asked nearby residents to share security camera footage, stating that some of the attackers may have fled on foot. She also asked citizens to report any suspicious vehicles.
“I need us all to be outraged by what happened here today,” Wilson said. “I think enough is enough. This is a public health crisis.”
Henry Martinez, a resident who lives across the street from Nome Park, told NBC News that he heard at least 30 gunshots. Police later reported that they believe multiple types of guns were used in the drive-by shooting.
“I’m a little shook about this,” Martinez said. “It’s scary hearing that many gunshots going off right in front of your house.”
Arely Briseno, an Aurora Central High School graduate picking up her brother, recalled that many kids used to use the park for gang-related activity and were known for skipping class.
Aurora Mayor Mike Coffman later put out a statement announcing that, “a shooting today in a park by Aurora Central High School has left six young people hospitalized.”
“My prayers are with the injured and their families,” Coffman said. “As the facts surrounding this incident become known, I look forward to hearing from our Chief of Police and from our District Attorney about what actions will be taken to apprehend and prosecute, to the fullest extent of the law, those responsible for this incident.”
“The most important function of government is the protection of its people and I strongly believe that public safety must always be the top priority for this city,” he continued.
Back in 2012, Aurora, Co. suffered from another shooting that gained national attention when a gunman killed 12 people in a movie theater screening a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises, with another 70 injured. Until the Orlando nightclub shooting in 2016, it was largest mass shooting in U.S. history.
Aurora reportedly launched the Youth Violence Prevention Program earlier this year, hoping to help address violence in the city.