Most of us had never heard of Aurora, Colorado before this morning’s tragic news of the theater shooting at the premiere ofThe Dark Knight Rises, and though we all now know the name by heart, how much do we know about the city itself?
According to national crime statistics and a Forbes ranking of safest cities, Aurora, a quiet suburb east of Denver, is one of the safest places in the country to raise a family. Aurora is Colorado’s third-largest city, home to roughly 325,000 people. Known for middle class neighborhoods and bustling high schools, Aurora sits on a map roughly 15 miles west of Littleton, Colorado – the scene of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre.
“Aurora’s huge,” said resident Betsy Cox. “It sprawls from big, beautiful homes in the south to rougher areas in the north.”
“We call it a ‘little Queens’ because of the diversity,” Cox said, comparing the town to the New York City borough.
The city saw 23 murders throughout the entire 12-month period of 2010, twice the number of the Friday-midnight massacre, that has claimed 14 victims thus far. The man arrested for the murders, James Holmes, lived in an Aurora apartment, in an area considered “a little more dangerous. It’s considered a ‘high drug corridor,’” reports NY Daily.
Democratic Representative Ed Perlmutter, who represents Colorado’s 7th district (including parts of Aurora) spoke about the crime earlier today. “Colorado is not a violent place but we have some violent people,” he said.