112021-news-HinkleyHighSchoolShooting01.JPG

Parents Edgar Jaimes and Olga Aguirre hug their daughter Mia Jaimes after she and other students were released from the building after a shooting occurred in the South parking lot of Hinkley High School on Friday, Nov. 19, 2021, in Aurora, Colo. (Timothy Hurst/The Gazette)

Aurora police believe a shooting in the Hinkley High School parking lot on Friday had ties to a local gang.

"There was a gang nexus to the Hinkley shooting," Matt Longshore, a spokesman for the Aurora Police Department, said in an email Tuesday. 

Police declined to identify the gang connected to the shooting that left three teenagers injured.

The shooting came just four days after six students were wounded in Nome Park near Aurora Central High School. Longshore said there is no evidence that the two shootings were connected.

Officers responded to the Hinkley High shooting around noon. Two of the people shot were Hinkley students, while the third was an APS Avenues student.

Covan Forbes, a freshman at Hinkley, told The Denver Gazette on Friday afternoon that he believed the shooting was related to gang activity. 

"There's a lot of gang activity in Aurora and a lot of gang activity at this school," he said. "That's the reason why it happened, I'm pretty sure."

The Rev. Leon Kelly, the founder of Open Door Youth Gang Alternatives, said he has been dealing with gang activity for 40 years and believes "these 3rd generation gang kids are more brazen than they ever were."

However, Kelly said the recent shootings are not as bad as the "Bloody Summer of 1993."

"Gang activity can unfortunately travel around the metro area and isn't concentrated to a specific spot in Aurora or Denver," Longshore said. "We try to address gang violence and activity with our Gang Unit as well as a specific Gang and Robbery Investigative Team (GRIT). These detectives can work city and metro-wide on identifying gangs, their members, and linking any crimes that are (possibly) related." 

On Friday, Aurora police Chief Vanessa Wilson pleaded with parents and guardians to keep a close eye on their children's online activities, saying they are buying weapons through social media. 

"I need the parents to get involved," Wilson said. "I need you checking phones, I need you checking rooms, I need you checking cars and making sure they're taking these guns away from kids."

Carol McKinley of The Denver Gazette contributed to this report.

Load comments