AURORA, Colo. — More than 100 people gathered at Nome Park Saturday morning for prayer and calls to action following two shootings involving high school students in the past few weeks.
"It's really past comprehension the kids that have the weapons and the type of weapons that they have and just the ease at the way kids are pulling the trigger these days," APD Chief Vanessa Wilson said.
The crowd was made up of city leaders, parents, community members, and Aurora Public Schools employees, all with open ears.
"I know that so many people feel like myself, wanting to be a part of something bigger, to be a part of the change," organizer Yolanda Greer, APS director of leadership development, said.
One of the speakers was APS Superintendent Rico Munn. He announced school campuses will be closed during lunch beginning Monday, Nov. 29, when students return from fall break.
The measure will last for a couple of weeks, he says, while Aurora Police continues its investigations into the Nov. 15 shooting at Nome Park and the Nov. 19 shooting in the parking lot of Hinkley High.
"It's logistically difficult, but we want to make sure we understand where the investigation is, any outstanding suspects or any of those issues so that we can make sure that we have a closer set of eyes on our kids," Munn said.
Also beginning Monday, students can expect to see an increased APD and APS security presence on campuses.
Parents like Joshua Nunez, whose son is a freshman at Vista PEAK Preparatory, welcome the changes.
"It's just important for me to know as a parent that my son is safe," he said.
As both shootings unfolded, like so many parents, Nunez was worried about his son's safety. He hopes teens in Aurora and beyond see that the community has their full support.
"It's never too late to make the necessary adjustments and changes to get on the right path," Nunez said.
As police work to solve both shootings, the organizers of Saturday's gathering hope through prayer and action, no other teen will be the victim of senseless violence. Plans for future gatherings are underway.