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(March 25) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a person was found dead in a field in northeast Aurora.

On March 25, 2022, about 7:15 a.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the area of East 56th Avenue near E470 on reports of a down party. Officers located a person lying in the field just off the roadway. This person was pronounced deceased on the scene.

Detectives from the department's Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and will be responsible for this investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, the facts and circumstances that led up to this death, to include suspect information, are still to be determined.

The Major Crimes Homicide Unit is asking for anyone who was traveling last night along East 56th Avenue, between E470 and Picadilly Road, and observed anything suspicious, to please call Detective Jonsgaard at 303-739-6127 or Sergeant Longnecker at 303-739-6041. Tipsters can also report anything suspicious to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers by calling 720.913.7867 and be eligible for a reward of up-to $2,000. 

The Adams County Coroner's Office will release the victim's name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 25, 2022 at 4:04 PM
  
(March 18) The Aurora Police Traffic Section is investigating after two pedestrians struck and killed on East Colfax Avenue.

On Friday, March 18, 2022, at about 7:50 p.m., Aurora Police responded a crash involving multiple pedestrians near the intersection of East Colfax Avenue and North Uvalda Street.

The preliminary investigation has revealed that a man was crossing East Colfax Avenue and was not utilizing a crosswalk. This man was struck by a Mitsubishi sedan traveling westbound on East Colfax Avenue. Immediately after this collision, the driver of the Mitsubishi pulled over to render aid. After that driver exited his vehicle, he was then struck by a separate vehicle, a Mercury Mountaineer, also traveling westbound on East Colfax Avenue. That Mercury then immediately pulled over and remained on scene.

The first pedestrian was pronounced deceased on scene. The second pedestrian, the driver of the Mitsubishi, was transported to the hospital and pronounced deceased a short time later. Investigators do not believe that speed or alcohol were contributing factors for either driver.

The identifications of both men will be released by the Adams County Coroner’s Office once they have been positively identified and their next-of-kin have been notified.

We ask anyone who may have witnessed this crash or has dash-camera footage of the crash, and has not yet spoken to police, to contact the Aurora Police Traffic Section.

Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 18, 2022 at 11:29 PM
  
(March 17) On Friday, August 6, 2021, the Aurora Police Department received a report pertaining to allegations of child exploitation involving Darnell Ward (DOB: 02/21/1978). The investigation confirmed the allegations of the original victim and investigators learned of two other additional victims.

The investigation determined that Ward occasionally was a parent spectator at Overland High School girls’ basketball games and would help record scores for the game. However, he was not an official volunteer. It is believed Ward also has helped with sporting events in the Denver Metro area schools. Based on Ward’s history and past allegations, Investigators believe there are additional victims who have been victimized by Ward and have not yet reported it.

On Wednesday, March 9, 2022, Ward was arrested for charges related to Child Exploitation and Sexual Assault in Phoenix, Arizona. Since his arrest, Ward has been extradited to Colorado. The 18th Judicial District Attorney’s Office will be prosecuting this case, and any additional media inquiries should be directed there.

Our Victim Services Unit is working closely with the families to offer support and help them work through this difficult event.

If there are any additional victims who are wishing to report to the police, they are asked to call Police Dispatch at (303) 627-3100 immediately. Anyone with additional information about this incident is encouraged to call the Internet Crimes Against Children at 303.739.6711.

Ward is pictured below: 

Suspect Photo

Officer Francisco Saucedo
Public Information Officer 
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 17, 2022 at 11:12 AM
  
(March 10, 2022) The Aurora Police Department has made four arrests in connection to a shooting that occurred on Wednesday Night at the Quality Inn.

Shortly after the initial shooting call, Aurora911 received a report of another person shot at North Chambers Road and East Smith Road. Officers from the Aurora Police Gang Intervention Unit contacted three juvenile males and one 18-year-old male. They discovered that the adult male was suffering from a gunshot wound. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

Officers were quickly able to determine that all the subjects had been involved in the shooting and took them into custody. The adult male was taken into custody this afternoon after he was released from the hospital. All four of the subjects have been arrested for 1st Degree Murder.  Due to their ages Aurora Police will not be releasing the names or booking photos of the juveniles. The adult who was arrested is Rafael Bergeron Martinez of Westminster. 

Detectives are still looking for witnesses and other people who may have been involved in the altercation that lead up to this shooting.  Anyone with information about this case is asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867.

“I want to highlight the exceptional teamwork that these arrests represent. Our officers and detectives from patrol, the Gang Unit and the Major Crimes Homicide Unit worked quickly to apprehend these violent criminals.” 
--Vanessa Wilson, Chief of Police

“Last night, our community was, once again, shaken by the news of gun violence involving young people. A 16-year-old is dead, and several others are hurt as a result of this mass shooting. This is yet another horrific case of a teen losing their life because too many young people have easy and unsupervised access to firearms. Parents and trusted adults, please talk with teens about whether they have a gun. Gun owners, sales of guns spiked during COVID and we are seeing many guns being stolen out of vehicles or other unsecure locations that end up in the hands of teenagers. Please secure your guns properly so you can ensure that there is one less gun out on the street.”
--District Attorney Brian Mason, 17th Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield Counties)

Rafael Martinez
Rafael Bergeron Martinez, DOB: 12/08/2003

Lieutenant Chris Amsler
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095


Information previously released on March 10, 2022:

(March 10) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a juvenile was shot and killed. Two other adult females were transported to the hospital, and a fourth victim self-transported to the hospital.

On March 9, 2022, about 07:05 p.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the Quality Inn, located at 3300 N Ouray Street, on a report of a shooting inside the hotel, near the pool. Upon officers' arrival, they located a 16-year-old male juvenile suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Tragically, the juvenile was pronounced deceased on the scene.

Shortly after the shooting, officers located a 20-year-old and a 19-year-old adult female suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. Both females were transported to a local hospital in serious condition. The suspects left the scene prior to officers' arrival.

At approximately 07:39 p.m., officers were advised that a fourth victim, of unknown age, had self-transported to the hospital suffering from an apparent gunshot wound and expected to survive.

Detectives from the department's Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and were responsible for this investigation. At this early stage in the investigation, the facts and circumstances that led up to this death, to include suspect descriptions, are still being determined.

The Adams County Coroner's Office will release the victim's name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Anyone who witnessed this shooting or has information about this homicide is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.

This is Aurora's seventh homicide of 2022.

Officer Francisco Saucedo
Public Information Officer 
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 10, 2022 at 4:27 PM
  
(March 4) The Aurora Police Department Traffic Investigations Unit is announcing the arrest of Adan Antonio Tobias-Ramirez (DOB: 09/23/1999). Adan was arrested for Colorado Revised Statute 42-4-1601 Left scene after accident involving death. A booking photo is not available at this time.

This case is being prosecuted by the 17th Judicial District Attorney’s Office and any additional media inquires should be directed there.

Officer Francisco Saucedo
Public Information Officer 
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095

___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Information previously released on September 9, 2021

(September 9) UPDATE: The Aurora Police Department Traffic Section Investigators have ruled out the white SUV/minivan as a suspect vehicle.

During the course of their investigation, officers located the white SUV/minivan in question and determined that the vehicle was not involved in this crash.

The Aurora Police Department Traffic Investigators are still seeking information about the white vehicle with tinted windows involved in this fatal crash. Anyone who may have witnessed this crash, has dash-camera footage, or any additional information, is asked to reach out to Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 303.913.STOP. Your tips can remain anonymous and you may still be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.00.


Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095


Information Previously Released on September 8

The Aurora Police Department Traffic Section is investigating a fatal hit and run crash that occurred on East Colfax Avenue and North Akron Street.

(September 8) On September 7, 2021 at 11:56 p.m., Aurora Police officers responded to the area of East Colfax Avenue and North Akron Street on a report of person laying on the ground.

Once on scene, officers discovered a 35-year-old male who was suffering from a significant head injury. The victim was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Tragically, today the victim died from his injuries. The name of victim will be released by the Adams County Coroner’s Office after he has been positively identified and his next-of-kin have been notified.

The Aurora Police Department Traffic Section investigated the scene and determined the victim was crossing East Colfax Avenue, northbound, at North Akron Street, when a vehicle struck the victim and then fled the scene. Investigators have identified a white SUV/minivan along with a small white sedan, pictured below, with dark tinted windows as possibly being involved. Investigators will continue working to identifying the vehicles and their drivers involved in this crash. No additional information is available at this time.

The Aurora Police Department is asking anyone who may have witnessed this crash or otherwise have any information related to this incident, to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.STOP. Your tips can remain anonymous and you may still be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.00.

Officer Francisco Saucedo
Public Information Officer 
Media Relations Unit 
720.432.5095

Hit and Run Suspect Vehicle Hit and Run Suspect Vehicle
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 04, 2022 at 10:44 PM
  
Teen Talk. Photo of teens laughing together.
 
Hey teens, let’s talk! 

I'm Taylor, one of the Youth Services librarians at Aurora Central Library.  
Cartoon Taylor  
 
Each month at the Aurora Public Library, I cover a variety of topics for teens. This month’s blog on mindfulness.  
Swing by the Aurora Central Library's teen area to browse books, resources, and activities related to the monthly topic. 

Artwork of person meditating in center with colorful surroundings

Mindfulness and meditation have become buzzwords over the last few years and for good reason—it works, it’s free, it’s simple, and anyone can do it. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected us all and altered the way we do life. Slowing down and remaining present is now more essential than ever to our overall well-being.  

Let’s dive in  what is mindfulness? 

“Mindfulness means maintaining a moment-by-moment awareness of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment, through a gentle, nurturing lens.  

Mindfulness also involves acceptance, meaning that we pay attention to our thoughts and feelings without judging them—without believing, for instance, that there’s a “right” or “wrong” way to think or feel in a given moment.  

When we practice mindfulness, our thoughts tune into what we’re sensing in the present moment rather than rehashing the past or imagining the future.” 
 (Source: Greater Good Magazine)

Quote on yellow background. Text: We have a finite amount of energy to spend every day before becoming exhausted. Mindfulness helps you use your energy wisely, spending it on situations, people, and causes that bring you the most joy, meaning and peace. By Thich Nhat Hanh
 
 
Read these articles about the power of mindfulness in daily life:
- How I Became a Mindfulness Convert
- Benefits of Mindfulness
- How to Practice Mindfulness: 11 Practical Steps and Tips


Graphic showing impact of mindfulness

I only recently got into meditation and mindfulness. I had heard a lot about the practice. I had heard about the benefits, but I still was resistant. It felt too easy or like it wouldn’t make much of a difference. About eight months ago I started incorporating deep breathing meditation before bed to help with my insomnia. I would play some ocean sounds or thunderstorms on my phone and practice deep breathing for twenty minutes while lying in bed. The results were instant and long-lasting. 

Since then, whenever I have started to feel overwhelmed or anxious I’ll try to remember to step aside and take a couple of deep breathes to re-center myself. I can feel my body relaxing and the tension leaving after a few breathes. It’s amazing! 

Three months ago I started reading up on mindfulness. I was surprised to find how simple and transformative the practice was. It sounds so simple—pay attention to the present moment, pay attention to how you feel, your surroundings, etc. 

The area of my life where I was able to see immediate changes was with eating. When practicing mindful eating you have no distractions, savor each bite, and fully engage with the act of eating and the food in front of you. 

What is most important about mindfulness is that you don’t have to be perfect and it is something that you continue to practice and grow with. I hope that you will consider incorporating mindfulness into your daily life and giving meditation a try. I have found it to be more beneficial than I thought. 

Quote on yellow background. Text: You need to wake up from your autopilot mode. You have to live deeply and with more awareness so that you can be attentive to each moment. By Thich Nhat Hanh 

Explore these free apps for guided meditations and mindfulness practices:
Smiling Mind – FREE app 
- Insight Timer – FREE app (pay for more access) 


Check out these books related to mindfulness and meditation:

 

Check back in April for our next Teen Talk! 

Join me every Thursday at 4 p.m. for our weekly Teen Hang at Aurora Central Library (14949 E. Alameda Pkwy.). I'd love to meet you and hear about what topics you’d like featured.   

Taylor written in cursive
Posted by [email protected]  On Mar 01, 2022 at 12:29 PM
  
(February 20, 2022) The Aurora Police Traffic Section is investigating a one car fatal crash that occurred in the Heather Gardens Neighborhood this morning.

At approximately 6:01a.m. the Aurora911 center received a report of a single car crash in the 2600 Block of South Abilene Street.  Upon arrival first responders located a silver Dodge Ram pickup truck that was on it's side in the middle of the RTD light rail tracks that are just west of the roadway.  A 33-year-old man who was driving the vehicle was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased. 

Traffic Investigators believe the Dodge was traveling northbound on Abilene Street when it traveled off of the left side of the roadway. It traveled up onto the sidewalk and into the parking lot of an office building at that location. It continued to travel westbound through the parking lot, colliding with two fences and then dropping 6 feet down onto the RTD light rail tracks.  The truck came to rest on it's passenger side.  Alcohol is believed to be a contributing factor in this crash.

The name of the driver is not being released at this time and will be released by the Arapahoe County Coroner's Office once the deceased has been positively identified and his next of kin have been notified.

Lieutenant Chris Amsler 
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Feb 20, 2022 at 9:03 AM
  
(February 17) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a woman dies, male transported to the hospital, following an early morning shooting in Aurora. 

On February 17, 2022, at 6:56 a.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to the Glen at the Park Apartments, 291 South Jasper Circle, on reports of a shooting. At this time, it appears that an argument ensued prior to the shooting. Officers located a 38-year-old woman who had been shot and was pronounced deceased on scene. A 28-year-old man was also found shot with what appeared to be a self-inflicted wound and was transported to the hospital in serious condition, but expected to survive. The man and woman were known to one another and are believed to have been in a relationship. A gun was recovered at the residence. No charges have been filed in this case and the investigation is ongoing.

A teenager was inside of the home at the time of the incident. Support and resources are being provide by members of our Victim Services Unit.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office will release the victim’s name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

If you or someone you know is a victim of or experiencing domestic violence, there are a number of resources readily available. You can call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800.799.7233, texting SMART to 88788, or visit ViolenceFreeColorado.org. Additional resources and information is available by visiting: https://www.auroragov.org/residents/public_safety/police/victim_services___rights


Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Feb 17, 2022 at 2:23 PM
  
On February 11, 2022, at approximately 4:38 a.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to a report of an adult male armed with a gun at the La Fontaine Apartments, located at 1325 N Idalia Ct. Multiple callers advised the male was going door to door and displaying a gun. The male was described as a Hispanic male, wearing a black hoodie. 

Upon arrival, officers located the male outside the apartment complex matching the description provided by the callers. Officers gave numerous commands for the male to put his hands up in English and Spanish. The male didn’t comply with the officer’s commands which led to shots being fired by the officers, striking the male. Medical assistance was immediately called for and provided by the officers. Once paramedics arrived, the male was pronounced deceased on the scene. 

The two Aurora Police Officers who fired their weapons were equipped with department-issued body cameras, which will be used in this ongoing investigation. They have both been placed on paid administrative leave per department policy. 

The Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) for the 18th Judicial District responded and will be investigating this officer-involved shooting incident. The CIRT Team conducts independent, multi-agency investigations into officer-involved shootings and in-custody deaths that occur in Arapahoe, Douglas, and Elbert County.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office will release the name of the 31-year-old suspect after positive identification and notification of next of kin.

We are requesting all members of the public who were a witness to the events leading up to and after the officer-involved shooting to please contact Aurora Police. 

Tweet from Chief of Police Wilson regarding this morning’s officer involved shooting.

Officer Francisco Saucedo
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Feb 11, 2022 at 9:56 AM
  
(February 9) The suspect that was identified in this case was killed this evening after an officer-involved shooting. 

More details about that incident can be found HERE.

Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095

Information Previously Release


(February 6) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is needing the public’s assistance in locating a man wanted for killing a woman, injuring two men, inside of an Aurora Church.

On February 4, 2022, about 08:15 p.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to 538 North Olathe Street, Iglesia Faro De Luz, on reports of a shooting. Since that time, Detectives with Aurora’s Major Crimes Homicide Unit have been interviewing witnesses, examining physical evidence and attempting to positively identify the suspect responsible for this shooting.

After numerous interviews, Aurora Police Detectives have now identified the suspect as:
Jose De Jesus Montoya Villa (01/11/1991)

Jose has an active arrest warrant for 1st Degree Murder. We are asking anyone who has information on the whereabouts of Jose to either contact your local law enforcement agency or Metro Denver Crime Stoppers. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous.

There is currently a reward of up to $2,000 for information leading to the arrest of Jose.


Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095

Jose De Jesus Montoya Villa

Information Previously Released


(February 4) The Aurora Police Major Crimes Homicide Unit is investigating after a woman killed, two other men shot, inside of a church in Aurora.

On February 4, 2022, about 08:15 p.m., the Aurora Police Department responded to 538 North Olathe Street, Iglesia Faro De Luz, on reports of a shooting. Officers located a 36-year-old woman, a 42-year-old man and a 40-year-old man, all suffering from apparent gunshot wounds. The woman was tragically pronounced deceased on scene. The two men were transported to the hospital, expected to survive. A fourth adult was also transported to the hospital for other medical reasons.

Detectives from the department’s Major Crimes Homicide Unit responded to the scene and will be responsible for this investigation. Early information obtained is that there was an event at the church tonight where approximately 15-20 people were in attendance. Investigators do know that there is a personal connection between the suspect and one of the shooting victims. The facts and circumstances that led up to this shooting are still be determined.

The Arapahoe County Coroner’s Office will release the victim’s name after positive identification and notification of next-of-kin.

Anyone who may have observed anything suspicious, or has information about this case, and have not yet spoken to police, is asked to call Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720.913.7867. By using Crime Stoppers, tipsters can remain anonymous and be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.


Agent Matthew Longshore
Public Information Officer
Media Relations Unit
720.432.5095
Posted by [email protected]  On Feb 09, 2022 at 9:13 PM
  
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