Editor's note: Four students are identified as Student 1, 2, 3 and 4 in this story for clarity's sake. As of now, those students have not been charged in connection to this incident, therefore Denver7 is not naming them. UPDATE: Student 3 has been formally charged, so his name — Alejandro Carillo Hernandez — has been updated in this story.
AURORA, Colo. — Three 16-year-old students were formally charged as adults with attempted first-degree murder, among other charges, on Tuesday in connection to the shooting outside Hinkley High School on Nov. 19.
All three students — identified as Larry Renee Jefferson, Dalen Lenale Brewer, and Diego Flores — were arrested within a few days of the shooting, and were charged as adults in the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office on Tuesday.
The charges stem from a shooting in the school's parking lot around noon on Nov. 19. A school resource officer and security officer were already at the school and responded to the area, where they found two students with gunshot wounds, according to arrest affidavits for the students. The students were transported to a hospital and police learned one other teen had self-transported to a hospital.
The three students, only identified as a 16-year-old from APS Avenues, a 17-year-old female from Hinkley, and a 17-year-old male from Hinkley, did not have injuries that were life-threatening.
The three suspects face multiple charges, including attempted murder and bringing a weapon on school grounds.
Jefferson, Brewer, and Flores were all charged with:
- 4 counts of attempted first-degree murder
- Count of first-degree assault
- Count of second-degree assault
- Count of possession of a weapon on school grounds
- 2 crime of violence sentence enhancers
Jefferson faces an additional charge of using a prohibited large-capacity magazine during a crime.
One of the students who was wounded told police she was in the parking lot with her cousin and noticed a pickup truck on the other side of the lot, according to the three arrest affidavits. She said she heard gunshots and then the pickup driver drove past the car she was inside. She said she saw the truck leave the parking lot and then realized she had been shot. She said her cousin drove her to a hospital, according to the affidavit. She told police multiple people were inside the truck at the time, but could not describe them.
She said she doesn't believe the shooters were targeting her, and did not believe they were students at Hinkley, according to the affidavits.
A second injured student, who police found in the parking lot with a gunshot wound to his back, said he had just returned to the parking lot after grabbing Popeyes for lunch. He was eating in a friend's car with several others when they heard people yelling. He told police he got out of the car to see if there was a fight about to happen, according to the affidavits, and that's when he heard gunshots. He said he saw students run in all directions and he headed toward the front door of the high school when he was shot.
The student said he couldn't say who shot him or what kind of car the shooters were in, according to the affidavits.
His injuries included a fractured scapula.
Several other witnesses talked with police and described the vehicle and suspects. One told police she saw a Black male get out of a white truck and say, "You all are gonna get it," according to the affidavits.
Two APS school resource officers were in the parking lot at the time and heard one gunshot followed by multiple rapid ones. One of them fired his weapon at the truck. The other was unarmed, as he had not yet completed all of his training to legally carry a weapon, according to the affidavits.
During the investigation, police obtained surveillance footage from the school that showed activity in the parking lot.
According to the video, a white pickup truck pulled into the parking lot at 11:59 a.m. It stopped near a sedan and Student 1, 16, got out of the sedan. The driver of the truck, later identified as Flores, got out to meet with Student 1. Four others — Jefferson, Alejandro Carillo Hernandez, Student 2, and Student 4 — got out of the truck and the truck pulled forward before stopping, indicating that somebody else inside got into the driver's seat, according to the affidavit.
At 12:01 p.m., the person who jumped into the driver's seat of the pickup — later identified as Brewer — got out of the car and joined the rest of the group before returning to the driver's seat. Just afterward, Student 2, 16, ran back to the car and got in the backseat. Then Hernandez, 16, walked south in the parking lot near a silver truck and appeared "very animated," according to the affidavit.
At 12:02 p.m., Hernandez pulled a handgun and aimed it at three males and started to fire. Everybody in the area scattered and ducked, according to the affidavits.
Brewer then started driving northbound and Flores tried to get back in, but ended up jumping into the bed of the truck. As the truck kept moving, the rear driver's seat passenger, later identified as Jefferson, stuck a hand out the window, "holding a handgun with an extended magazine as kids are running away," according to the affidavit. In the surveillance video, both Brewer and Jefferson were seen shooting handguns out of the windows on the driver's side of the truck.
Brewer then drove the truck out of the parking lot and headed north on Chambers Road, according to the affidavit.
At 12:10 p.m., a sergeant with the Aurora Police Department learned about the suspect vehicle and spotted a white pickup with a gunshot in the windshield at the entrance of University Hospital. Previously, camera surveillance captured two males running from the truck.
Police found Student 2 and Flores at the hospital and learned that Student 2 had been shot in the abdomen. He told police that he and Flores were at the school when two other males yelled, "What are you doing here" and he then heard gunshots, according to the affidavit. Student 2 told police he ducked into the passenger seat and was shot.
Student 2's injuries were minor and he was treated and released. Both he and Flores were interviewed at Aurora Police headquarters for questioning.
The white pickup truck was impounded for evidence.
Detectives first talked with Student 2, along with his mother. He said his best friend Flores and Hernandez picked him up in Flores' truck, and then they met up with Brewer, Jefferson and Student 4, 16. Student 2 said he drove to Hinkley with a friend to "scout out for any 'Boner Boy' gang members. (Student 2) said he's been having a long-time beef with the 'Boner Boys' and believe they have shot up his house several times in the past," the affidavit reads. They then returned to join with the rest of the group.
He said he then got a call from Student 1 who said there were several gang members in the parking lot and he thought he was going to get jumped. Student 2 said he knew Hernandez, Jefferson and Brewer all had guns on them at the time. The group jumped into Flores' truck and drove to the school.
Student 2 said at the school, Flores met with Student 1, who had called about the gang members in the parking lot. Student 2 left the truck with Jefferson, Hernandez and Student 4. Student 2 told police he knew they were going to be in a fight, according to the affidavit.
He told police he ran back to the truck and got in the backseat, with Brewer in the driver's seat and Jefferson in the seat behind Brewer. He said as the shooting started, he ducked down in the seat, according to the affidavit. He said he saw both Brewer and Jefferson shooting handguns.
At some point, Student 2 was shot in his side, he said, and Brewer drove away from the scene. It's not clear how Student 2 was shot, or who shot him.
He said after driving for a bit, both Brewer and Jefferson got out of the truck and ran, which lines up with surveillance footage obtained by police. Flores then got into the driver's seat and started driving, according to the affidavit. Student 2 said Flores handed him a plastic container of bullets and told him to throw it out the window.
Flores drove to University Hospital, Student 2 said, and police arrived shortly afterward.
After talking with Student 2, detectives spoke with Flores and his mother.
Police said Flores was reluctant to talk at first, but eventually told officers he picked up Jefferson and Brewer and went to Hinkley around 10:50 a.m., where a verbal altercation broke out with several "Boner Boys" members, according to the affidavit. They all agreed to fight at a local Wendy's, but Flores said the "Boner Boys" did not show up. He then met up with Jefferson, Brewer, Student 2, and Hernandez.
Like Student 2, he detailed how Student 1 called and said he thought he was going to get jumped and needed help. As they headed to the school, they decided Jefferson and Brewer, who were armed, could back them up if need be. He said "it was his plan to have (Jefferson) and (Brewer) back them up with guns because he said it's the way it is in this town," according to the affidavit.
The group of males pulled into the parking lot and met with Student 1. Flores said they started arguing with another group in the parking lot when Hernandez walked back to the truck, pulled out a gun and started shooting. Flores said he jumped in the back of the truck. He said in addition to Hernandez, he knew Jefferson and Brewer were shooting. Like Student 2, he explained how they fled from the parking lot, let Brewer and Jefferson out of the car, and then drove to the hospital.
Flores said Brewer left a black handgun magazine in the front seat, and after the two teens fled, he told Student 2 to throw it out the window, according to the affidavit.
Police found a glock magazine and 9mm bullets where Student 2 said he threw away the bullets. They also learned that Flores had removed the license plates from his truck before going to Hinkley, according to the affidavit. Police said they believe he did this to avoid detection.
Suspects Jefferson and Brewer have a status hearing Dec. 15 at 8:30 a.m. Flores has a status hearing on March 7 at 8:30 a.m.
It is not clear if Hernandez will face charges, but as of Tuesday afternoon, he has not been charged.
On Monday, Aurora Public Schools’ closed-campus policy for high schools went into effect, prohibiting students from leaving campus for lunch with few exceptions.
Anybody with information or evidence related to the shooting is asked to call police at 303-739-6000 or the Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-7867.