Authorities postponed a planned hearing Friday for the two students accused of opening fire on classmates in a deadly shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado.
Officials and students have credited Kendrick Castillo, the 18-year-old senior killed in the shooting, and two classmates with helping to thwart the attack by charging at one of the shooters when he entered a classroom. Authorities have said an armed private security guard restrained the second shooter.
The suspects have been identified as 18-year-old Devon Erickson and 16-year-old Maya McKinney, whose attorney has said uses male pronouns and the name Alec. They have been in jail since Tuesday on suspicion of murder and attempted murder and made their first court appearances Wednesday.
Here are the latest updates:
Update 2:50 p.m. EDT May 10: Prosecutors and defense attorneys have agreed to postpone a hearing scheduled for Friday in which Erickson and McKinney were set to learn what charges they’ll officially face.
District Judge Theresa Slade on Friday approved of a motion to continue the hearings until next week. A spokeswoman for District Attorney George Brauchler told The Associated Press that his office “could not explain the reason for the delay.”
In an initial court appearance on Wednesday, Brauchler asked to wait until Monday to file charges so that authorities would have the weekend to make progress on their investigation.
Update 9 a.m. EDT May 10: Prosecutors are expected to formally file charges against Erickson and McKinney at a court hearing Friday afternoon.
District attorney George Brauchler is also set to decide whether McKinney will be charged as an adult in Tuesday’s shooting. Colorado law permits prosecutors to file adult charges of serious felonies against 16- and 17-year-olds without prior approval from a judge.
Friday’s hearing is scheduled to start at 1:30 p.m. local time, KKTV reported.
Erickson and McKinney are accused of walking into their school Tuesday afternoon and opening fire in a pair of classrooms, killing one classmate and injuring eight others.
Authorities continued Friday to investigate the circumstances that led to the shooting. Investigators have not offered a possible motive for the attack.
Update 7:30 p.m. EDT May 9: Colorado investigators said school shooting suspects Devon Erickson, 18, and Alec McKinney, 16, tried to set Erickson’s parents’ house on fire before heading to the STEM School Highlands Ranch Tuesday where they allegedly opened fire on classmates, killing one and injuring eight others, according to KWGN-TV.
Authorities said they found fire accelerants inside the house, but that the blaze caused little damage.
Both Erickson and McKinney are STEM School students. and both have court appearances scheduled for Friday
McKinney is a juvenile, but Erickson is facing charges as an adult.
He’s facing 30 counts, including one count of first-degree murder and 29 counts of attempted first-degree murder.
Update 12:05 a.m. EDT May 8: The two suspects accused in the mass shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch made their first court appearance Wednesday, according to CNN.
Neither Devon Erickson, 18, or Alec McKinney, 16, were formally charged, CNN reported. Both are due back in court on Friday.
The news network, citing anonymous sources, said Erickson took both weapons used in the shooting from his parents and that both were bought legally.
Update 12:40 p.m. EDT May 8: A classmate of Castillo’s told NBC’s “Today” show that the student killed in Tuesday’s shooting, identified as 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, lunged at one of the shooters Tuesday, likely saving lives.
Nui Giasolli, a student at STEM School Highlands Ranch told “Today” her classmate, 18-year-old Devon Erickson, came into class late on Tuesday and pulled out a gun.
“That’s when Kendrick lunged at him and he shot Kendrick,” Giasolli said. His actions gave students “enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe and to run across the room to escape.”
Giasolli told “Today” that other students also helped Castillo to tackle the shooter. 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.”
“I can’t thank them enough,” she said.
Update 12:30 p.m. EDT May 8: Douglas County Coroner Jill Roman identified the student slain in Tuesday’s shooting as Kendrick Ray Castillo, 18.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said Castillo was set to graduate in just days.
A classmate of Castillo’s told NBC’s “Today” show that he lunged at one of the shooters Tuesday, likely saving lives.
“Kendrick Castillo was three days from graduation. He loved robotics,” U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said in a statement posted on Twitter. “Yesterday, he ran toward the shooter to save his classmates. Read his story, learn his name and do not become numb to this senseless violence.”
Update 9:30 a.m. EDT May 8: Authorities said that by 2 p.m. local time Wednesday, they expect to release the identity of the STEM School Highland Ranch student killed in Tuesday’s shooting.
“The student was going to graduate and would’ve been out of school in three days,” Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.
Authorities took two people into custody Tuesday after responding to the shooting. Spurlock said the suspects were a young man, identified as Devon Erickson, 18, and a juvenile girl.
“These suspects went to that school,” Spurlock said. “They were able to get deep inside the school.”
Authorities continued Wednesday to investigate the circumstances that led to the shooting. Officials did not immediately release a possible motive in the case.
Three people injured in the shooting remained in intensive care Wednesday.
Update 8:35 a.m. EDT May 8: At a news conference Wednesday morning, authorities said they arrested an 18-year-old man and a juvenile female in connection to Tuesday’s shooting.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said both suspects were students at STEM School Highlands Ranch and that neither was old enough to own or purchase a gun.
“It wasn’t until we got to this office where we were able to determine that one of the suspects was a female,” Spurlock said Wednesday. “We original thought we had a juvenile male in custody.”
Authorities said two handguns were used in the shooting.
Update 12:55 a.m. EDT May 8: The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has identified one of the suspects in the deadly shooting as 18-year-old Devon Erickson.
“We will not be releasing any photos at this time as it could jeopardize this critical ongoing [investigation],” the department tweeted. “We still have interviews to conduct, and we want to make sure we have the most accurate information.”
Authorities have not released the name of a second suspect, who is a juvenile, The Associated Press reported.
The suspects were students at the STEM school, according to the AP.
Update 8:45 p.m. EDT May 7: The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed one person is dead following the STEM school shooting. The student has not officially been identified, but said the deceased is an 18-year-old male.
“It is with extreme sadness that we can confirm that 1 student at the STEM School was killed in today’s STEM shooting incident,” the office said in a statement. “The immediate family has been notified. Douglas County Coroner Jill Romann has not officially identified the student is stating it’s an 18 year old male.”
Update 8:40 p.m. EDT May 7: White House Press Secretary Judd Deere issued the following statement in response to the shooting; however, the shooting Tuesday was in Highlands Ranch, Colorado, not Littleton, Colorado.
“Our prayers are with the victims, family members, and all those affected by today’s shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Littleton, Colorado,” the statement said, according to NBC News. “Tragically, this community and those surrounding it know all too well these hateful and horrible acts of violence. The White House has been in communication with state and local officials, and the President has been briefed and continues to monitor the ongoing situation. We offer our full support to local law enforcement and first responders and thank them for their heroism.”
Update 7:05 p.m. EDT May 7: Littleton Adventist Hospital spokesperson Wendy Forbes confirmed to KUSA that three victims injured in the STEM school shooting have been discharged and two victims are in serious condition. A Children’s Hospital Colorado spokesperson told the local station one victim in the shooting is in good condition. Sky Ridge Medical Center spokesperson Linda Watson told KUSA two juveniles were being treated at their hospital. Watson told BuzzFeed News they were in stable condition.
Update 7 p.m. EDT May 7: Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said in a news briefing that two people walked into the school and shot students in two classrooms within the high school area of the K-12 school.
The school contacted police soon after and two minutes later, police arrived. Two suspects, whose names are not released, are in custody. “We believe we have one male and one juvenile,” Spurlock said, adding that officials believe they have all suspects involved in custody. The suspects, both male, are not injured and are believed to be students at the school, according to Spurlock.
Police are working to obtain warrants for a suspect’s vehicle and the homes where they believe the suspects lived.
“We do have eight students that are in area hospitals right now,” Spurlock said. “Several are in critical condition.”
The identities of the injured students are not being released as one student has not yet been united with family, but Spurlock said they are age 15 and older. Some are in stable condition and others are in surgery in critical condition, Spurlock said.
Several school buses were seen bringing young children to the recreational center where parents are waiting to reunite with students.
Update 6 p.m. EDT May 7: The Douglas County School District has confirmed that the lockout has been lifted from STEM School Highlands Ranch.
Update 5:45 p.m. EDT May 7: KDVR reported Children’s Hospital Colorado in Aurora confirmed it is treating one person who was injured in the shooting. The victim is in “good condition,” the station reported.
KUSA reported that Littleton Adventist Hospital confirmed that five injured victims are being treated at their facility. The station said their conditions were not reported due to the ongoing situation, however, KDVR reported that Littleton Adventist confirmed that four of the five are in serious condition. One is in fair condition.
Update 5:30 p.m. EDT May 7: Douglas County Undersheriff Holly Nicholson-Kluth said at a news briefing that there are seven confirmed student injuries, possibly eight.
Officials do not expect there to be a third suspect, but they are still in the process of clearing the school. Authorities believe the two suspects in custody are juveniles. The age range of those injured could not be confirmed.
“There are still students at the school,” Nicholson-Kluth said. “They are trying to evacuate the elementary school at this time.”
Update 5:05 p.m. EDT May 7: Colorado Gov. Jared Polis has issued a statement in response to the shooting:
“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. We are monitoring the situation in real time. The heart of all Colorado is with the victims & their families.”
KDVR reported that, according to Littleton Adventist Hospital, some injured victims are being treated in stable condition. Police have not commented on the number of injuries or the condition of those injured.
Update 4:55 p.m. EDT May 7: Douglas County Undersheriff Holly Nicholson-Kluth said at a news briefing there are two suspects in custody and tentatively one at large.
Nicholson-Kluth said the school is still being cleared room-to-room and some students self-evacuated. Parents are asked to meet at the Northridge Recreation Center to be reunited with students.
“This is still an active shooter situation,” she said.
Original report: The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday afternoon that two people were injured at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a school in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Police are asking people to avoid the area.
Officials are in the process of reuniting students with their parents and guardians at a nearby rec center, a process they say will take some time.
KDVR reported the school, which has students in kindergarten through 12th grade, is on lock down. All schools in the Cherry Creek School District are placed on a “secure perimeter” due to the emergency.
The Associated Press contributed to this report
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