What you need to know about Aurora, Colorado

Most journalists reporting on the mass shooting in Aurora, Colorado will be unfamiliar with the town. Here are some basic facts:

• Aurora is an independent city that shares a border with Denver. It had 325,078 people in 2010, according to the U.S. Census. About 61 percent of its residents are white, about 29 percent are Hispanic and about 16 percent are black. The median income is $49,515 and it's about 154 square miles in area. Aurora's about 20 miles northeast of Columbine, Colo.

• Aurora is Colorado's third-largest city by population, after Denver and Colorado Springs.

• It's served by Denver media as well as the Aurora Sentinel, which is covering the shooting.

• Aurora police have two phone numbers for media inquiries: (303) 739-6103 and (303) 739-6104. The PIO is Frank Fania, (303) 739-6022. The police Twitter feed is @AuroraPD and they've got a Facebook page, too. The APD's Twitter feed says it's not releasing 911 recordings.

• There's a tip line/source of info for victims: (303) 739-1862.

• Aurora's city government page says the city is "the eighth safest city of its size in the nation." Steve Hogan was elected Aurora's mayor in 2010. Aurora's website doesn't give a direct number for the mayor or councilmembers, but the general number is (303) 739-7000.

Buckley Air Force base is in Aurora. The base chapel is assisting family members; its phone number is (720) 847-4631. The media contact number for 460th Space Wing Public Affairs is (720) 847-9431. The Pentagon has said that members of the military were injured in the shooting.

• The University of Colorado Denver's Anschutz Medical Campus, where accused shooter James Hogan was reportedly pursuing a Ph.D in neuroscience, hasn't posted anything on its Twitter feed yet. Anschutz's executive director of media relations is Jacque Montgomery, (303) 724-1528. The Anschutz media department's got a 24-hour media pager number: (303) 266-2608.

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.


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