US

Second Suspect in Colorado School Shooting Is a Juvenile Girl: Sheriff

By Zachary Stieber

The second suspect in the May 7 school shooting in Colorado is a girl, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.

The “juvenile female” joined Devon Erickson, an 18-year-old male, in shooting up STEM School Highland Ranch, the sheriff said.

Her name has not been released.

“We originally thought that we had a juvenile male in custody, but through our interviews yesterday afternoon, we determined that we have a juvenile female in custody now,” Spurlock said, reported KOAA.

The sheriff’s office posted the press conference footage on its Facebook page but the sound didn’t work, prompting complaints from Facebook users. Another portion of the press conference was posted separately and the audio worked in that post.

Erickson was set to graduate and would have left the school in three days, Spurlock added. Deputies were able to apprehend both the male and the female without firing any shots.

The STEM campus is one block from the sheriff’s office, enabling deputies to arrive in about two minutes.

“I believe the quick response of officers helped save lives,” Spurlock said. “A quick response eliminates a lot of this issue right off the bat.”

18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler said that the suspects are presumed innocent and that the adult suspect, Erickson, will be getting a publicly-appointed lawyer. He wasn’t sure of the schedule for the girl.

Police and others are seen outside a recreation center
Police and others are seen outside a recreation center where students are reunited with their parents, in the Denver suburb of Highlands Ranch, Colo., after a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch May 7, 2019. (David Zalubowski/AP)
Students exit an ambulance at a recreation center for students to get reunited with their parents after a shooting at a suburban Denver middle school on May 7, 2019, in Highlands Ranch, Colo. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

“In our state, we have two tracks for adults and juveniles at this point in the process,” he noted.

One student died in the attack and was identified as Kendrick Castillo, 18. Students told CBS that three students, including Castillo, tried to take down the shooters. The two other students were wounded and in serious condition in the hospital, as was at least one other student who was injured. The shooters also hit four others, authorities said.

Michael Schwartz, one student, said that Erickson had discussed causing harm in the past.

“I always thought he was just messing around and stuff, but sometimes he did hint at it here and there,” Schwartz said.

Nui Giasolli, another student, said that she was in her British literature class when Erickson walked in.

colorado school shooting
A sign is displayed outside the STEM School Highlands Ranch seen after a shooting at the public charter school in Highlands Ranch, Colo. on May 7, 2019. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
Highlands Ranch, Colorado where two students carried out a school shooting. (Maps4News/HERE)

“The next thing I know he is pulling a gun and is telling nobody to move,” she told NBC. “That’s when Kendrick lunged at him, and he shot Kendrick, giving all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe, and to run across the room to escape.”

Other students piled on, helping Castillo tackle Erickson.

They “were brave enough to bring him down so that all of us could escape and all of us could be reunited with our families,” she said. “I can’t thank them enough.”

The father of Brendan Bialy, a senior who plans to become a Marine after graduating, said that his son was part of the group who stopped Erickson.

School district officials, meanwhile, announced on Tuesday night that the school would be closed for the rest of the week.