At 6:45 p.m., about 5 hours after the taking pictures, the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office launched an announcement confirming that one of many 9 who had been shot, an 18-year-old man, had died.
Late Tuesday evening, the sheriff’s workplace recognized one of many suspects as Devon Erickson, 18, however mentioned it will present no additional details about him as a result of “we still have interviews to conduct and we want to make sure we have the most accurate information.”
Police tape was strung up exterior the prim brick suburban house the place neighbors mentioned Mr. Erickson’s household has lived for the reason that late 1990s. A next-door neighbor who declined to be named described him as a quiet younger man who typically deflected eye contact and performed a number of musical devices.
Sheriff Spurlock mentioned the suspects, who had been armed with a handgun and different weapons, confronted regulation enforcement officers after they arrived. He mentioned the suspects, Mr. Erickson and one juvenile, weren’t injured.
“I can tell you that there were shots fired,” he mentioned. “Our officers went in and engaged the suspects. We did struggle with the suspects to take them into custody.”
Sheriff Spurlock mentioned neither suspect had been on regulation enforcement’s radar earlier than the taking pictures and that the motive was unknown.
The sheriff mentioned the injured college students had been age 15 or older.
Students who weren’t injured had been taken to Northridge Recreation Center in Highlands Ranch, the place a whole lot of anxious dad and mom gathered to search for their kids on Tuesday afternoon.
“I heard a gunshot,” mentioned Makai Dixon, 8, a second grader who had been coaching for this second, with energetic shooter drills and lockdowns, since he was in kindergarten. “I’d never heard it before.”
Makai’s dad and mom mentioned they joined 1000’s of others in dashing to the varsity as information blazed by this suburban group.
“We’re more messed up than they are,” Makai’s mom, Rocio, mentioned as they walked to their automotive.
The taking pictures on the Highlands Ranch constitution college is the most recent at an academic establishment, rattling communities nationwide as a result of younger individuals have been put in mortal hazard in locations lengthy thought of protected havens. One week earlier, a person with a pistol shot six individuals on the final day of spring courses on the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, killing two.
On Tuesday, as wave after wave of courses had been launched from the recreation middle in Highlands Ranch, excessive schoolers started strolling out in tears, reaching for his or her dad and mom’ arms and hugging their academics.
Tyler Rush, 17, a junior, mentioned he had been on the second flooring of the varsity, simply above the place the taking pictures occurred. He mentioned that it started in the course of the day’s ultimate interval and that the varsity introduced a lockdown within the center college portion of the constructing. He and his classmates gathered in a nook and turned out the lights. Some cried. Some sat paralyzed.
He heard two gunshots.
“I was in a state of shock,” he mentioned.
Littleton Adventist Hospital in Colorado mentioned 5 individuals had been transported there after Tuesday’s taking pictures. Two are in critical situation whereas three have been discharged, the hospital mentioned. Sky Ridge Medical Center mentioned two kids had been transported there and had been in steady situation. Children’s Hospital Colorado mentioned one sufferer had been handled at its south campus and then launched.
While particulars of how the taking pictures occurred remained sparse, one father or mother mentioned college students had tried to cease the assault.
Brad Bialy mentioned his oldest son, Brendan, a senior, informed him that he was at school when gunfire erupted. Mr. Bialy mentioned his son informed him that two college students entered the classroom and one pulled a gun out of a guitar case.
He mentioned his son and two buddies tried to deal with the gunman however one of many boys was shot within the chest. Other college students tried to stanch the bleeding by placing stress on his chest, Mr. Bialy mentioned.
“Thank God he’s fine,” Mr. Montoya said.
He said after news of the shooting broke, he could not reach his son and was in a state of shock until they were able to talk to each other.
“We are so lucky,” Mr. Montoya said.
Sheriff Spurlock said the school, which has about 1,800 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, had no police officer assigned to it and used private security instead, but he did not say what actions that security service may have taken during the shooting.
The sheriff said that the school alerted law enforcement “almost immediately after the first gunshots were fired” and that deputies arrived roughly two minutes later.
“I have to believe that the quick response of officers that got inside that school helped save lives,” the sheriff said.
Earlier in the day, local news media showed video footage of tear-stricken parents gathering near the school as at least two air ambulance helicopters arrived at the scene after the shooting, which was reported before 2 p.m.
Gov. Jared Polis of Colorado said the state government was monitoring the situation.
“We are making all of our public safety resources available to assist the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department in their effort to secure the site and evacuate the students,” he said on Twitter. “The heart of all Colorado is with the victims & their families.”
STEM School will be closed for the rest of the week, the Douglas County schools superintendent, Thomas S. Tucker, said late Tuesday. Other schools in the district remain open, he added, with “heightened security.”
Douglas County is an affluent area south of Denver with about 350,000 people. It sits next to Jefferson County, home to Columbine High School, and students there are already primed to watch for gunmen.
Last month, hundreds of schools in the Denver area were closed as law enforcement searched for a Florida woman who they said had made threats ahead of the 20th anniversary of the deadly shooting that claimed 13 lives at Columbine High School, which is about seven miles from the site of Tuesday’s shooting.
The woman, Sol Pais, 18, was found dead on April 17 of an apparent self-inflicted shotgun wound in the mountains west of Denver.
Douglas County is more conservative than traditionally blue Denver, and like much of the region has been at the center of the national debate over gun violence.
Last month, Mr. Polis signed into law a so-called Red Flag bill, allowing authorities to take guns from people deemed a threat after a court hearing. The bill divided the state, and some sheriffs said they would not enforce it, while some counties began calling themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”
In Douglas County, the county commission criticized the bill, saying they feared it threatened constitutional liberties, while Sheriff Spurlock emerged as one of its most vocal supporters.
The area’s history of gun violence was front and center in last year’s election for its United States representative. Jason Crow, a Democrat, unseated Mike Coffman, a five-term Republican incumbent supported by the National Rifle Association.
Mr. Crow campaigned openly on gun control — including universal background checks, a ban on assault weapons and restrictions on high-capacity magazines — and the issue dominated the race.
He was one of several public figures to express his sorrow on Twitter on Tuesday.
“It is with broken hearts that we respond to the news coming out of Highlands Ranch,” he wrote. “We still don’t have all the details regarding the situation at STEM school, but we do know this: we have a public health crisis on our hands. This cannot continue.”
Patrick Neville, a Columbine survivor and the top Republican lawmaker in the Colorado House of Representatives, said in a statement that the shooting was a reminder “of the need to secure our schools.”
He said armed security guards and facility upgrades were the best way to keep students safe.
“School safety programs which include armed security and safety upgrades to school facilities are the best way to stop these criminals from harming our children,” he said.
There have been several high-profile shootings in Colorado in recent years.
In 2010, a man shot two students with a high-powered rifle at a suburban middle school near Highlands Ranch.
In 2012, 12 people were killed at a movie theater in Aurora, Colo., about 20 miles northeast of Highlands Ranch.
In 2013, a student in Centennial, Colo., killed himself after he fatally shot another student in the head.