AURORA, Colo. — A juvenile armed robbery suspect was shot and killed by an Aurora police officer Thursday afternoon, according to the Aurora Police Department.
An Aurora police sergeant assigned to the Gang Intervention Unit (GIU) was on a routine patrol when they noticed several teenagers wearing medical masks and hooded sweatshirts approaching a convenience store near East Eighth Avenue and North Dayton Street around 4:20 p.m. The sergeant called for more officers to respond to investigate the suspicious activity.
The teenagers allegedly robbed the store of several vape canisters and then ran away. It was discovered that one of the teenagers threatened the clerk with a firearm, according to Aurora police.
One suspect was quickly taken into custody. A second was apprehended in the 1300 block of Emporia Street, according to Interim Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo.
A third suspect tried to run away and was contacted by officers. At some point, the suspect ended up on the ground, and a struggle began, Acevedo said Thursday.
The suspect was armed and allegedly ignored officers' commands to put down the weapon. At some point, an officer discharged his weapon and shot the suspect.
The suspect, who was only identified as a male juvenile, was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
"This is a tragedy, all the way around. There's no other way to look at it," Acevedo said Thursday. "These kids think that this is a video game. I don't know what they think this is. This is ... a real world, real life situation."
The officer who shot the suspect has been with the department since 2017, and joined the GIU in 2019, according to Acevedo. He has been placed on administrative leave, per department protocol.
The 18th Judicial Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) is investigating the shooting, while the Gang and Robbery Investigations Team is investigating the armed robbery.
The Internal Affairs Bureau is also conducting a investigation into the incident, concurrent with the criminal investigation. Acevedo said this was a new practice within the department.
Several more suspects took off in a stolen Kia Sedona minivan with license plate CNS P11 and have not been found, according to Aurora police.
Anyone with information about the outstanding suspects or the robbery is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867. Tipsters can remain anonymous.