2-Year-Old Boy Dies After Falling From Father's Arms on Second-Story Escalator in Colo. Mall
A 2-year-old boy has tragically died after authorities say he fell from his father's arms on a second-story escalator.
The Aurora Police Department confirmed the fatal incident in a statement to PEOPLE, noting that it occurred around 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Town Center shopping center in Aurora.
Police and fire officials were called to the scene after receiving a report about a child who had fallen from the second floor to the first floor, according to the statement.
Police said an initial investigation determined that the 2-year-old was being held by his father at the top of the escalator when the child lunged forward.
The father then lost his grip and the child fell to the first floor, per police. Their identities have not been released.
Witnesses who were at the mall spoke to KCNC following the incident — and some said they saw the boy lying on the ground unconscious before he was taken away by first responders.
"I was in one of the shoe stores and I heard a lot of screaming — I heard a lady screaming, then out of nowhere the shop owner ran outside," Cesar Solorzano told the outlet. "He was on the phone [and] I heard him saying that something happened, and he couldn't close the store because he had guests. And then he looked at me, he told me what happened, that a little kid fell off the escalator."
Following the incident, the boy was transported to a local hospital but died on Monday morning, police confirmed in their statement.
An investigation is currently underway. Though it is still in the early stages, Aurora Police said they believe the incident was an accident.
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"All incidents where a child of this age is seriously injured or killed are thoroughly investigated by our Crimes Against Children (CAC) Unit," police said. "The investigation remains open and active."
As authorities continue to look into the tragedy, one shopper told KCNC this will serve as a painful reminder to all parents about the dangers of escalators.
"It's just a reminder for parents," the unidentified shopper told the outlet. "Even if you're holding onto your kids going down the escalator, you can never be too safe."