17-year-old killed in shooting at Aurora mall

An Aurora police cruiser outside the Town Center at Aurora mall on Friday, Dec. 27, in Aurora. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

An Aurora police cruiser outside the Town Center at Aurora mall on Friday, Dec. 27, in Aurora. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Update, 12/30/19, 7 a.m.: Police arrested 18-year-old Kamyl Xavier Garrette in connection with the shooting. They announced the arrest Saturday. Garrette is expected in court Monday.

A 17-year-old boy was shot and killed inside the JCPenney at the Town Center at Aurora Mall on Friday afternoon.

The incident is being investigated as a homicide.

The shooter used a handgun, according to Aurora Police Department spokesperson Anthony Camacho. There is no suspect in custody. The department received a call about the shooting at 4 p.m., he said.

Police first tweeted about the shooting a little before 4:30 p.m., adding that it was not an “active shooting incident” and to expect heavy police presence on the south side of the mall. The mall is located on East Alameda, near I-225.

Jalen Martin of Aurora told CPR News he was at the mall when heard people running toward him and saying someone was shooting. He said he didn’t see the shooter but he heard gunfire. He ran alongside others trying to flee the mall.

“It was people just running all over the place,” Martin said. He continued, “It’s like one of those moments where you’re like, you’ve heard of things like that happening and you’re like, that won’t happen to me. And then it does. And that’s why I was so scared.”

The Town Center at Aurora mall remains open as police investigate a shooting. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

The Town Center at Aurora mall remains open as police investigate a shooting. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Though police were outside the JCPenney and mall security was trying to remove media from the area, people were coming and going from the mall, where stores were still open.

Briza Lopez, 17, told Denverite she arrived at the mall after the shooting.

“An employee there was telling me, ‘Are you OK, did you survive the shooting?'” she said. “And I was like, ‘Whoa, a shooting?'”

She left afterward, “because it’s kind of scary, sketchy to be here.”

Lu Garcia, who works at Q’Rico Cravings, said people were running scared through the mall. She was told the store could remain open.

The JCPenney will remain closed while police investigate, Camacho said.

This is the second shooting this month at the Town Center at Aurora, Camacho said. And in March, a 16-year-old was shot and killed in the parking lot.

Thanks for reading another Denverite story

Looks like you’re the type of person who reads to the ends of articles! Well, true believer, you might really like our morning newsletter. It’s quick, free and gets you up to speed on the important and delightful things happening right here in Denver. Does Denverite help you feel more connected to what’s up in your area? Do you want to be a part of it?

Member donations are critical to our continued existence and growth.

Weird times

Denverite is powered by you. In these weird times, the local vigilance, the local context, the local flavor — it’s powered through your donations. If you’d miss Denverite if it disappeared tomorrow, donate today.

You’re our superpower

Denverite supporters have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.

You’re our superpower

Denverite members have made the decision to financially support local journalism that matters to you. Ready to tell your networks why? Sharing our “About” page with your own personal comments could really help us out.