AP

Students Kill Classmate, Injure 8 At School Near Columbine

May 8, 2019, 5:22 AM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:09 pm

HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (AP) — Two high school students shot and killed a classmate and injured eight others at a charter school in a Colorado community that marked the 20th anniversary of one of the nation’s worst school shootings just weeks ago.

Douglas County sheriff’s officials said Devon Erickson, 18, and a younger student walked into the STEM School Highlands Ranch Tuesday afternoon and opened fire on students in two classrooms, prompting students to run shouting through the halls or to hide out of sight as gunfire echoed through school.

“At the moment no one really knew what was going on so I didn’t know they were bullets,” said seventh-grader Sophia Marks. “I just kind of saw like flashes and we heard bangs.”

Within minutes, deputies at a nearby sheriff’s department substation entered the school and arrested the two suspects after a struggle. Both were students at the school and they were not previously known to authorities, Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.

Josh Dutton, 18, told The Associated Press that he was close friends with Devon Erickson in middle school but hadn’t seen him for four years as he went to a different high school. On Sunday, he spotted Erickson at a local light rail station and said he was shocked at how much his friend had changed.

Erickson wore all black, a hat and sunglasses, was significantly skinnier and didn’t seem interested in talking. “He said he’d just turned 18 and he owned rifles,” Dutton said.

A message left at a phone number listed for Erickson’s home was not immediately returned.

The shooting took place exactly a week after a gunman killed two students and wounded four at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte. It also comes nearly three weeks after neighboring Littleton marked the grim 20th anniversary of the Columbine school massacre that killed 13 people. The two schools are separated by about 7 miles (11 kilometers) in adjacent communities south of Denver.

“Tragically, this community and those surrounding it know all too well these hateful and horrible acts of violence,” White House spokesman Judd Deere said in a statement. President Donald Trump had been briefed on the shooting and was in touch with state and local officials, Deere said.

“The heart of all Colorado is with the victims and their families,” Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement.

STEM is a public charter school with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. It has more than 1,850 students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

As the gunfire rang out, students ran through the halls shouting “School shooter!” Some wondered at first if it was a joke or a drill.

Chris Elledge, 15, said his teacher told the class to hide behind weight equipment in the room, where they stayed until police arrived.

“They busted in the room, and they were asking if there was any suspects in the room, if we were OK, and they escorted us out to go out to the front of the building,” Elledge said.

Frantic parents used their cellphones to find their children as news of the shooting spread. Sophia Marks’ mother, Sara Marks, said she has two other children who also go to the school.

“When you have no idea what’s going on and the children are texting you that they’re hiding under a desk and bullets are hitting their window, or things are hitting their window, it’s a horrible feeling,” she said.

Three hospitals reported treating eight people in connection with the attack, including two who were listed in serious condition. At least four others were released by Tuesday night.

Fernando Montoya told television station KMGH that his 17-year-old son was shot three times but was expected to make a full recovery.

“Thank God he is fine,” Montoya said. “Even though he got shot, he’s OK. He’s going to walk out on his feet, so I’m glad. We’re so lucky.”

___

AP writer Nicholas Riccardi contributed to this report.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

AP

...
Associated Press

Chief: Man shot by Chicago police infiltrated SWAT training

Chicago's police chief says a man used a fire escape to infiltrate a police facility where officers were undergoing a SWAT training exercise and grabbed at least two guns
20 hours ago
Police and paramedics work at the scene of a shooting at school No. 88 in Izhevsk, Russia, Monday, ...
Associated Press

15 dead, 24 wounded in school shooting in Russia

A gunman opened fire in a school in central Russia on Monday, killing 15 people and wounding 24 others before shooting himself.
20 hours ago
TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 05: Pedestrians wearing face masks are reflected in an electronic screen sh...
YURI KAGEYAMA, AP Business Writer

Asian shares mostly decline echoing US slide on rate worries

Asian shares are mostly lower, reflecting pessimism over weakness on Wall Street as the squeeze by central banks around the world to curb inflation weighs on investor sentiment.
2 days ago
MEXICO CITY, MEXICO - OCTOBER 17: Miguel Diaz Canel, President of Cuba poses during a state visit t...
CRISTIANA MESQUITA, Associated Press

Cuba holds unusual vote on law allowing same-sex marriage

Cuba is holding a rare referendum on an unusually contentious law — a government-backed code that would allow same-sex couples to marry and adopt.
2 days ago
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - FEBRUARY 11: Rihanna poses for a picture as she celebrates her beauty bra...
JAKE COYLE, AP Film Writer

Rihanna to headline the next Super Bowl halftime show

Rihanna is set to star in February’s Super Bowl halftime show.
2 days ago
Kennedy Space Center on September 03, 2022 in Cape Canaveral, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty Images)...
MARCIA DUNN AP Aerospace Writer

EXPLAINER: Why is a NASA spacecraft crashing into an asteroid?

A NASA spacecraft is about to clobber a small, harmless asteroid millions of miles away. The spacecraft named Dart will zero in on the asteroid Monday, intent on slamming it head-on at 14,000 mph. The impact should be just enough to nudge the asteroid into a slightly tighter orbit around its companion space rock. It's the first save-the-world experiment of its kind. If successful, the test will demonstrate that if a killer asteroid ever heads our way, we'll stand a fighting chance. Dart blasted off on the $325 million mission last fall.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
Students Kill Classmate, Injure 8 At School Near Columbine