Colorado police are investigating the causes of the school shooting at Highlands Ranch, where two youths killed one student and wounded eight, assuring that the lessons learned after the massacre in neighboring Columbine 20 years ago saved many lives on Tuesday.
If on April 20, 1999, the police took 47 minutes to enter Columbine school, only 7 miles (11 kilometers) from the center where on Tuesday a young man and a minor opened fire on students, this time the officers arrived less Two minutes after the alarm signal activated at the STEM School of Highlands Ranch.
“You train yourself again and again for this kind of situation, and then, when something happens, you just act, that’s what we train for,” agent Holly Nicholson Kluth said at a press conference about the differences between the new case and Columbine, where two young people killed thirteen people before committing suicide.
Therefore, according to Nicholson Kluth, the soldiers managed to stop the attackers in a few minutes, although that was enough time for a young man to die and eight other people were injured, three of them seriously.
Because of the new “military style” training, the uniformed woman said, the police personnel could begin providing first aid to the victims immediately, before the paramedics took over the task.
At the same press conference, her superior and Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock identified one of the suspects as Devon Erickson, 18, but did not give details about her alleged companion because she was a minor.
He must appear throughout this day before a judge in judicial district 18 of Colorado and his partner will do so shortly after, although in a juvenile court.
Spurlock also could not give information about the deceased student, although local media indicated that it is Kendrick Castillo, 18 and who was going to graduate this month.
In addition, eight people were injured and three of them are still in intensive care, the sheriff said.
The events occurred on the afternoon of Tuesday, when Erickson and the child entered the school with at least two firearms.
The police are investigating how they could access this weapon, given that their ages are not allowed, said Spurlock.
For his part, District Attorney George Brauchler, who presided over the case against James Holmes, convicted of killing 12 people in the massacre inside a movie theater in Aurora (Colorado) in July 2012, regretted having to respond to a new act of massive violence.
Brauchler, who said he did not speak as a district attorney, but as a father, asked society to focus on “victims and investigation, not suspects.”
The governor of Colorado, Jared Polis, took the opportunity to thank all the people who intervened in response to a “vicious act of violence.”
“Schools must be safe places, we should not have to worry about the safety of students,” he said.
However, since the Columbine massacre there have been more than 230 shootings in schools in the United States, with 143 dead and 294 injured, according to a Washington Post report.
The Denver Public Schools (DPS, the largest school district in Colorado) and numerous other districts in the metropolitan area announced new security measures Wednesday, including “high visibility” of “security officers” inside the schools and police patrolling the exterior of the buildings.
This is another of Columbine’s lessons, school coordination to “share intelligence” and make sure it is an “isolated event,” said Susana Cordova, superintendent of the Denver Public Schools (DPS).
Frank DeAngelis, who was director of the Columbine School in April 1999, said Wednesday that he spoke with his colleagues at the Highlands Ranch school about the recovery process for students and teachers and administrators.
They also received support from the March for Our Lives group, created by students at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where in February 2018, 17 people were killed by shots by a former student.
“Nobody should experience this type of fear, neither on our streets nor in our schools,” affirmed on Twitter the group of Parkland students who defend the need to regulate and control the sale and possession of weapons. (EFEUSA) .-