Two students opened fire at a Colorado science and technology school, killing a fellow student and wounding seven others before being taken into custody, law enforcement and hospital officials in the United States 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 40km (25 miles) 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 attacker walked into his classroom and opened fire with a gun and another attacker 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.
Eight students were taken to a hospital with injuries, Sheriff Tony Spurlock told reporters. Several of the students were in critical condition, he said. One of those victims, an 18-year-old male, later died of his injuries, Spurlock said a short time later. Authorities did not release the name of the student who died.
The suspects were identified only as two male students of the school, one an adult and the other under age 18, the sheriff said.
Authorities said the shooting erupted in the middle school section of the campus, which combines elementary, middle and high school students.
“Two individuals walked into the STEM school, got deep inside the school, and engaged students in two separate locations,” Spurlock said.
The shooting occurred less than a month after the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in nearby Littleton, about eight kilometres 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 US history.
On Tuesday, during the investigation law enforcement officers consder there could be a third suspect involved in the crime.
The 18-year-old suspect in Tuesday’s shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch is expected to make his first court appearance on Wednesday May 8, in the afternoon, and the student killed days before his senior year was set to end, was identified by his parents (the student’s name has not been revealed by the authorities).
Mass shootings in the state of Colorado
Some of the worst mass shootings in the U.S. have occurred in Colorado. In addition to Columbine on April 1999, a man opened fire at a movie theatre in Aurora, Colorado, in 2012, killing 12 people and injuring several more.
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