Wednesday, a 17-year-old student shot and injured two administrators at his Denver high school, according to officials. The victims were transported to local hospitals. Ron Thomas, the chief of police in Denver, stated that the student fled the scene after the shooting at East High School.
According to Denver Health, one of the victims, Jerald Mason, was released from the hospital on Wednesday evening, while Eric Sinclair remains in critical condition.
Wednesday afternoon, police identified the suspect as 17-year-old Austin Lyle and posted his photo on social media. Because he is a minor, the chief did not identify the suspect during an earlier press conference.
The suspect was described as a Black man measuring 5 feet 5 inches in height, weighing 150 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. It was believed that he was in possession of a 2005 red Volvo XC90 with the Colorado licence plate BSCW10.
Wednesday night, police announced they had located the suspect’s vehicle in Park County, but he was still at large. He was last seen wearing a green hooded sweatshirt, according to the police. Mayor Michael Hancock had previously stated that the sweatshirt featured an astronaut.
Hancock stated, “We will locate the suspect and hold him accountable for his actions.”
The suspect was wanted for attempted murder, according to police.
During a morning search of the student by two administrators, “a handgun was recovered and several shots were fired,” according to the police chief.
According to what Thomas termed a “safety plan,” the student was searched at the beginning of each school day. Officials did not elaborate on the circumstances surrounding the daily searches.
Thomas stated that the searches were conducted in a secluded office area at the front of the school, away from students, and that no weapon was discovered on the student during previous searches.
Thomas stated that police have not recovered the weapon used in the shooting. Authorities conducted a search of his residence for evidence.
“We have no idea where he is,” the chief said, adding that investigators are attempting to speak with individuals who may know where he went.
Hancock stated that because paramedics were already at the school treating a student with an allergic reaction, they were able to “immediately” attend to the injured men.
Superintendent of Denver Public Schools Alex Marrero announced that students would be dismissed early and school would be closed for the rest of the week.
Marrero stated that two armed officers would be assigned to the school until the end of the school year. Hancock noted in a statement that school resource officers had been removed from the school system and demanded their reinstatement.
The mayor stated, “Removing them was a mistake, and we must move swiftly to rectify it.”
According to CBS Colorado, the incident occurred roughly one month after 16-year-old Luis Garcia was shot near East High School. He passed away weeks after being shot.
According to Denver Public Schools, ten firearms were seized from Denver students between the beginning of the school year and February.