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Arrest warrant issued for a suspect in the killing of teen at Southlands Mall

AURORA, Colo. — Police in Aurora issued an arrest warrant Monday for a suspect involved in the shooting death of a 15-year-old boy at Southlands Mall earlier this month.

Aurora Police Chief Art Acevedo said investigators believe there are at least five suspects and multiple shooters involved in the Oct. 1 shooting that killed Raphael Velin outside the shopping center.


15-year-old shot, killed outside Southlands Mall in Aurora

7:40 AM, Oct 01, 2023

Monday’s warrant is for one individual who Acevedo anticipates will be arrested in the coming days. He does not believe the suspect is in the area. No other details about the suspect were released.

The shooting was reported at around 9:30 p.m. in a parking lot outside the mall where a large group of people, including teens from Smoky Hill and Grandview High Schools were celebrating homecoming, witnesses told Denver7.

Employees from Mt. Fuji Sushi & Hibachi restaurant ushered in other teens and witnesses who fled the gunshots and the doors were locked after the shooting unfolded.

“They were crying. There was one girl who was hugging her dad – like I’m so scared, I just want to go home. Adults were pretty mellow, but a lot of kids were kind of just in shock,” said Jordan Dimitrie, a witness to the shooting.

Acevedo stressed the murder occurred during a pre-planned meeting “to conduct some business youths should not be engaged in,” and was not connected to homecoming celebrations.

Raphael was a sophomore at Vista PEAK Preparatory. His mother, Nancy Velin, told Denver7 that her son was an aspiring barber and “was a very good boy, a great helper,” Velin said.

Mom of teen killed at Southlands Mall shares how she wants him to be remembered

Anyone with information is being asked to contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.

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