HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (AP/Gray News) - Two students opened fire at a suburban Denver middle school Tuesday afternoon, wounding eight other students before being taken into custody, authorities said.
One is an adult male and the other is a juvenile.
“We did not have them on any radar,” Spurlock said of the suspects.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said the wounded were taken to area hospitals. Several of them are in critical condition and were taken into surgery. No staff or officers were injured.
“We’re going to do everything we can to investigate this to determine what happened,” Spurlock said.
The shooting began at about 1:53 p.m. in the middle school of the STEM Academy School. School staff alerted police. There is not a school resource officer assigned to the school, however, the school is located near a police station and it hires private security.
“Quite a few shots were fired,” Douglas County Undersheriff Holly Nicholson-Kluth said.
Deputies arrived two minutes after the shooting began and heard shots as they arrived, authorities said. The school is near a sheriff’s department substation.
“I have to believe that the quick response of the officers that got inside that school helped save lives," Spurlock said.
At least one handgun was recovered at the school. The sheriff said he was uncertain if there were any other weapons.
Nicholson-Kluth said that many kids self-evacuated. Others were being reunited with parents at a nearby recreation center.
A car believed to belong to one of the suspects was found in the school parking lot.
STEM School Highlands Ranch is a public charter school with more than 1,850 students in kindergarten through 12th grades - with an elementary, middle and high school.
This shooting comes a couple of weeks after the 20th anniversary of when teenage gunmen attacked Columbine High School killed 12 classmates and a teacher. The Columbine perpetrators took their own lives during the attack.
Columbine High School is 7 miles away from STEM Academy.