Investigators are offering up to a $4,000 reward for information regarding the death of a 13-year-old in March’s Aurora mall shooting.
Just before 8 p.m. on March 25, Aurora police officers responded to reports of a shooting in the parking lot at the Town Center at Aurora mall.
When officers arrived, they found 13-year-old Phoenix Day suffering from two gunshot wounds, detective Nick Lesnansky said in Friday’s press conference. First responders took Day to the hospital, where he died less than half an hour later.
“I will never understand why this happened to my son,” Phoenix Day’s mother, Tabatha Denny, said in the press conference. “But I do know that we deserve justice. I need to know what happened to my son.”
Lesnansky said officers have since reviewed more than 100 hours of video surveillance footage, cell phone records and social media posts that have led to several different leads.
Phoenix and his group of friends got into an argument with another group of teens inside the mall on the night he was killed, Lesnansky said. The two groups planned to move outside to the nearby movie theater parking lot to continue their argument, but after they got outside an unknown person shot twice at Phoenix.
Police said nine shell casings were recovered at the scene near Dillard’s and sent out for forensic testing. At this point in the investigation, police believe there was one shooter.
“We’re at a point now where we need the public’s help,” said Mark Hildebrand, Aurora Police Department Investigations Division Chief. “We want to give Phoenix’s family peace by bringing this case to a close and finding who was responsible for Phoenix’s murder.”
Investigators said they have spoken to some witnesses from both groups, but believe there were other people in the area who saw what happened and haven’t come forward yet.
Lesnansky said the biggest challenge is the sheer size of the case, from the large parking lot scene to the number of people out on Saturday night.
“No detail is too small,” Denny said. “Nothing is going to bring my son back, but it will help to know that no other family has to go through what we have. No mother should feel the way I have felt the last three months.”
Anyone with information should call Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867 or visit metrodenvercrimestoppers.com. Any information that helps further the case is eligible for up to a $4,000 reward, even if it doesn’t lead to an immediate arrest.
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