Colorado shooting: At least seven wounded in school shooting, two suspects in custody

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Denver | Published: May 8, 2019 4:24:34 AM

The Denver Post reported that all schools in the area where placed on a security lockdown while police and fire crews responded to the scene.

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(Colorado December 14, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking)

At least seven people were wounded on Tuesday afternoon when gunfire erupted at a Denver-area science and technology school, and two suspects were arrested, law enforcement and hospital officials said.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s office said deputies heard shots coming from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School in Highlands Ranch, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Denver, when they arrived to investigate reports of gunfire.

A man who identified himself as Fernando Montoya said his 17-year-old son, a junior at STEM, was shot three times, and one of his friends was also wounded.

He said his son, who was later released from a hospital, told him one shooter walked into his classroom and opened fire with a gun and one shooter was already in the classroom.
“He said a guy pulled a pistol out of a guitar case and started to shoot,” Montoya told ABC affiliate Denver 7.

Seven people, and possibly an eighth, were taken to a hospital with injuries, Undersheriff Holly Nicholson-Kluth told reporters. Two suspects believed to be juveniles were taken into custody.
Nicholson-Kluth was unable to confirm details about the shooting. It was immediately known if any were fatalities and no information was available about the condition of the wounded.

She did not know the ages of the victims or whether they were students at the school, which combines elementary, middle and high school classes on one campus. But she said the shooting erupted in the middle school section of the campus.

The shooting occurred less than a month after the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in nearby Littleton, about five miles (8 km) from the STEM school. In 1999, two Columbine students killed 13 people there before committing suicide in what remains one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

On Tuesday, law enforcement officers initially searched STEM for a possible third suspect but police later determined that the two in custody had acted alone, Nicholson-Kluth said.

When deputies entered the building, “there did appear to be some struggle going on” at that time, the undersheriff said. She said no police officers were assigned to the campus.

A student who was not identified told Denver television station KUSA-TV outside the school after the shooting that the violence had left him “a bit shaky” and “scared,” but “glad that I didn’t get hurt.”
Colorado Governor Jared Polis said he was sending additional state law enforcement officials to the scene.

“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,” Polis wrote on Twitter.
The sheriff’s department directed parents to go to a nearby recreation center to pick up their children.

Local television showed dozens of police and fire vehicles surrounding the school as deputies conducted a room-by-room search of the campus.

The Denver Post reported that all schools in the area where placed on a security lockdown while police and fire crews responded to the scene.

Some of the worst mass shootings in the United States have occurred in Colorado. In addition to Columbine, a man opened fire at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012, killing 12 people and injuring scores more.

The bloodshed in Colorado came one week to the day after a 22-year-old gunman opened fire on the Charlotte campus of the University of North Carolina, killing two people and wounding four others. The gunman was later disarmed and arrested.

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