Aurora police are investigating a Saturday night shooting that left one teenager dead in a Southlands Mall parking lot.
Around 8:30 p.m., officers responded to reports of a shooting in a parking lot outside the mall, according to a Sunday news release from the Aurora Police Department.
A large group of teenagers were gathered in the area to celebrate homecoming, including students from both Smoky Hill and Grandview high schools, said Ian Liu, an employee at Mt. Fuji Sushi & Hibachi.
Liu said the employees had no idea what was happening until people ran in the door telling them to call 911.
“It was chaos,” he said. “People did come in to seek shelter from the incident and we locked the door. We just needed to protect our customers and employees.”
When Aurora police officers arrived on the scene, they found a 15-year-old boy suffering from a gunshot wound in the parking lot, according to a statement from the Aurora Police Department on X.
#APDAlert Officers are investigating a fatal shooting outside the Southlands mall.
When officers arrived they found one juvenile was suffering from a gunshot wound. Life-saving measures were conducted and the young man was transferred to the hospital where he passed away.
— Aurora Police Dept (@AuroraPD) October 1, 2023
Paramedics transported the teen to a local hospital, where he later died from his injuries, the news release stated. The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office will identify the victim.
No suspects are currently in custody, but Aurora officers are searching for several suspects spotted driving away from the scene.
According to the Sunday release, witness testimonies and preliminary evidence collected from the scene show four or five Black males fleeing the parking lot in a black four-door sedan.
Officers located the vehicle just before 11:30 a.m., police said in an update.
Police believe the murder occurred during a pre-planned meeting between the involved parties, the release stated.
While there is no known threat to shoppers at this time, Aurora officers have increased their patrol presence at the Southlands Mall Sunday.
The Aurora Police Department asks witnesses from the area, along with residents from the Wheatlands neighborhood near the mall to check surveillance cameras, including home security cameras, to see if anything from the incident was recorded.
Anyone with information is asked to call Metro Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000 if the information leads to an arrest.
Sign up to get crime news sent straight to your inbox each day.