UPDATED: May 8, 11:25AM — Scroll down for more information.
The school shooters at the STEM School Highland Ranch have been arrested and identified. Another high school student allegedly tackled one of the gunmen and helped stop the attack. Here’s what we know about the shooting thus far.
As of this morning, one student, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, is dead; he was one of eight injured during the shooting.
During a press conference, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said two shooters walked into the high school around 1:50 PM Tuesday and opened fire on their classmates in “two separate locations.” It has since been learned that one of the suspected gunmen is 18-year-old Devon Erickson; the other is a juvenile female and her identity is not being disclosed.
Before police arrived, some students reportedly tackled one of the gunmen. According to the New York Times:
Brad Bialy said his oldest son, Brendan, a senior, told him that he was in class when gunfire erupted. Mr. Bialy said his son told him that two students entered the classroom and one pulled a gun out of a guitar case.
New York Times
He said his son and two friends tried to tackle the gunman but one of the boys was shot in the chest. Other students tried to stanch the bleeding by putting pressure on his chest, Mr. Bialy said.
Spurlock stated that police arrived at the school within minutes. “I can tell you that there were shots fired,” he said. “Our officers went in and engaged the suspects. We did struggle with the suspects to take them into custody.”
Authorities recovered three handguns and a rifle; however, Spurlock stated that the rifle was not used in the shooting. Neither suspect was injured.
It was later confirmed that Castillo was the young man killed in the shooting.
According to the Associated Press, Castillo was killed while trying to stop Erickson, who came into Castillo’s British literature class and drew his gun. “Castillo lunged at the gunman, who shot the teen. Castillo’s actions gave the rest of the class time to get underneath their desks and then run across the room to escape to safety,” the service reports.
This is the young man killed yesterday in Douglas County.— Alan Gionet (@AlanGTV) May 8, 2019
He was 18.
Kendrick Castillo had hopes and dreams.
He liked technology and attended the STEM school to study it.
Please may his family find some comfort from all of us.#stemshooting #STEMStrong#CBS4Mornings @CBSDenver pic.twitter.com/OJNYDGGEqO
Background reports on the gunmen are mixed, offering conflicting or confusing motives for the attack. Initially, police stated that the shooters were two males, but on Wednesday Spurlock stated this: “We originally thought the juvenile was a male by appearance.”
When asked if the underage student is transgender, Spurlock declined to comment. However, TV station KMGH reported that the juvenile suspect is a transgender male in the process of transitioning from female to male. The station cited anonymous sources. Other media outlets are restating this information, but authorities have not confirmed it at this time.
Regarding Erickson, multiple sources do state that he has no criminal record, and was involved in youth theater and played the guitar. However, the car below was reportedly towed from the suspect’s home last night, and police are meeting with the parents.
STEM Highlands Ranch Charter School is located only a few miles from Columbine High School. Less than a month ago, a teen obsessed with the Columbine High School massacre traveled to the city where she purchased a shotgun. This resulted in the closing of 19 Denver-area school districts. The young woman was later found dead from an apparent suicide.