Middle School Student Shot in Denver, Parents Complain of School Response

Colin Fredericson
By Colin Fredericson
August 29, 2018USshare

A boy was shot on Aug. 28 outside of a middle school in Denver.

The identity of the boy or the suspected shooter was not yet revealed, but both are juveniles. The police arrested a suspect, but are not revealing any information other than he was arrested on suspicion of aggravated assault.

press release from the Denver Police Department stated that the shooting was a result of an alleged confrontation outside of the school, DSST: Cole Middle School. Police say they can’t release any personal information about the suspect due to his or her age.

The victim has been taken to the hospital.

The shooting caused distress throughout the school and the larger community, as parents rushed to the scene.

“I don’t even remember how I got here from Walmart,” said Stormey Ware, via The Denver Post. She rushed to the school after receiving a whispered phone call from her daughter. “I had to be doing 100 (mph).”

Worried parents said they felt disconnected from the latest developments. There was a break in communication within the school system. The campus near the shooting also has elementary and high school students.

“This was very uninformed for parents,” Ware said. “I’m leaving my child in your care, and you can’t even let me know what’s happening in this important situation?”

A spokesman for Denver Public Schools told the Denver Post that the school went into lockdown once safety officers arrived, but the information didn’t get out.

“We just had a communications issue,” spokesman Will Jones said. “We’re going to fix it. Our families deserve to get this information as quickly and accurately as possible.”

Dear DSST: Cole families, our hearts are broken as we share the news that one of our middle school students was injured…

Posted by DSST: Cole Middle School on Tuesday, August 28, 2018

At a press conference related to the shooting, Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen revealed little additional information but did repeatedly stress that the shooting took place outside, and not inside, the school.

A post on the Facebook page for the school says that the victim is a student there.

A Westword article points to more confusion after the tragedy than just a lack of communication with parents, saying the arrest of a suspect was announced by Denver Public Schools before an arrest had been made, and the police chief referred to the school by the wrong name during the press conference.

According to Westword, the victim is still in critical condition, and that the school said the shooter was a student at the school, though that hasn’t been confirmed.

A school source hinted to the paper at gang involvement, something the police chief was asked about multiple times in the press conference but which he gave no confirmation of.

Westword reported on a student who shrugged off the incident. When asked why he thought it wasn’t scary, he said, “I live around here.”

The Denver mayor addressed the situation on Twitter.

“No parent should have to fear for their child’s safety, whether in a school building or on the streets. I have been closely monitoring the situation and the condition of the young man shot & critically injured outside Cole M.S. this afternoon,” wrote Mayor Michael B. Hancock, in one of the tweets.

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