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17-year-old killed in shooting at Juneteenth celebration in Aurora identified

Police are still looking for a suspect but said they think the shooting was an isolated incident.

AURORA, Colo. — A teenager who died after he was shot during a Juneteenth celebration at an Aurora park Friday night has been identified by the Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office. 

The shooting happened just before 9 p.m. at Rocky Ridge Park, at 16200 E. Mississippi Ave., according to the Aurora Police Department (APD). That is near the intersection of East Mississippi Avenue and South Lewiston Street.

The victim, Xaviyar Lawrence Sturges, was taken to a hospital, where he died.

Crystal McCoy with APD said a witness estimated that there were about 1,000 people at the park at the time of the shooting.

Aurora police said they are working to get information on a suspect but think the shooting was an isolated incident between the suspect and the victim. They said they do not think there is an immediate danger to the public.

Interim Aurora Police Chief Vanessa Wilson released a statement on Twitter on Saturday: “This tragedy cuts to the core of all our hearts. Praying for his family and friends. I ask the community to pray for peace for our city.”

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APD tweeted Saturday afternoon that they are asking Yummy Treats, which hosted the event, to call Detective Glenn at 303.739.6068. Anyone who knows how to contact Yummy Treats is asked to share that message with them.

Anyone with information about or video of this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or by visiting metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Tipsters can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000. 

Metro Denver Crime Stoppers works by assigning a code to people who anonymously submit a tip. Information is shared with law enforcement, and Crime Stoppers are notified at the conclusion of the investigation. 

From there, an awards committee reviews the information provided and, if the information leads to an arrest, the tipster will be notified. Rewards can be collected using the code numbers received when the tip was originally submitted. 

More information about Metro Denver Crime Stoppers can be found here. 

> Additional Crime Stoppers bulletins can be found here.

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