Parents in Pueblo D60 are voicing concerns today after three South High School students were robbed at gunpoint yesterday afternoon. One parent says it happened less than a block away from the high school.
Sabrina Valdez said her 14-year-old son and his two friends were robbed at gunpoint in the neighborhood off of Sherwood Lane. She mentioned, they’re doing okay today, but they’re shaken up after what happened.
“Thank god they're okay. My thing is, is it’s hard as a parent, you know?,” said Valdez.
Valdez and her family have lived in the neighborhood for five years, and it’s a neighborhood she says is usually quiet.
“I’ve been safe with my kids here. I never expect anything, and then being not even a half a block away from the school, my kids should be protected within this area,” said Valdez.
She explained to News5 how and when the incident happened. Just after 3:30 Wednesday afternoon, Valdez said she went outside to check in on the three teenagers walking home from school. She saw a red vehicle pull up next to the teenagers, but she didn’t think anything of it and went back inside. When they still weren’t home after a few minutes, she went back outside.
“I look over and you know, all three boys, they didn't have their backpacks and their shoes were gone. They were telling me that at that point, the car pulled up to him and demanded their stuff,” said Valdez. “One of them pointed the gun to one of the boys at his head, the other one held the gun to their chest, and the driver had the gun pointed to the kids.”
Sergeant Frank Ortega, with Pueblo police say there are at least three suspects involved in the case and one has been arrested. That suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Amour Velazquez. She has been charged with two counts of Aggravated Robbery, Aggravated Motor Vehicle Theft and 3 counts of Restraining Order Violation.
The suspects were driving a stolen 2004 Toyota Rav-4 from Colorado Springs.
“It seemed like it was a crime of opportunity, and the suspects took advantage of robbing these kids close to the school,” said Sergeant Ortega.
Sergeant Ortega said they've also received reports that the suspects went on a crime spree, committing crimes in different areas. It’s an active and on-going investigation and police are still working to determine what crimes were committed and by who.
“This is generally a nice area, it is, and the thing is, criminals are always looking for opportunities so you have to be kind of aware of your surroundings,” said Sergeant Ortega.
As police are investigating further, Valdez said she kept all her kids at home today including her son who was involved.
“Physically, he's okay. Mentally, I don't know if he's okay because he's quiet,” said Valdez.
However she still has her concerns as a parent.
“Can we trust our kids walking home? is it safe anymore?,” she asked.
News5 also spoke to a woman who wanted to remain anonymous, who believes she encountered the suspects too. She told News5 she was followed by the suspects in the Toyota Ran 4 until they eventually made a u-turn. She filed a report with the police about the incident.
Sargeant Ortega also said they will have additional police officers and patrol at the school for the next few days.
In a statement from Pueblo D60, they say: “Wednesday's incident took place several blocks from the school after students had been released for the day. Because the incident did not happen on school grounds and with students dismissed, the District was not immediately aware as to what transpired. In such matters, we always work directly with our community partner, the Pueblo Police Department, and as information becomes available, we develop a plan to communicate it out to our school communities. Although the incident involved students at South High School, we felt it was important to share the information of what transpired with all families and staff of D60.”
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