Suspect from East High School found dead
The 17-year-old suspect in a Wednesday shooting that wounded two administrators at a Denver high school was found dead in a nearby county, authorities said.
The Park County Coroner’s Office announced Thursday morning that the body was identified as Austin Lyle, the 17-year-old student Denver police had named as the suspect in the shooting at Denver’s East High School hours earlier. Lyle’s next of kin have been notified and the coroner’s office is continuing an autopsy and death investigation.
Police found the body Wednesday night in the Colorado woods, near an abandoned car authorities said belonged to the suspect. The body was found in a remote mountain area of Park County, about 50 miles southwest of Denver, said Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw.
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Authorities ordered residents of the nearby small town of Bailey to shelter in place as agencies, including the FBI, searched the forest.
Lyle is accused of pulling out a handgun and firing shots as he was patted down for weapons, a daily safety check because of the student’s behavioral issues, authorities said. Alex Marrero, superintendent of Denver Public Schools, declined to offer further details when asked by reporters.
The suspect fled the building after the shooting. The weapon was not found at the school, and officers were executing a search warrant at the student’s home, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said in a news conference.
One of the administrators wounded in the shooting was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and the other remained in serious condition, said Heather Burke, a spokesperson for Denver Health hospital.
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East High School to cancel classes, add armed officers
East High School canceled classes through the end of the week for its 2,500 students and announced it would add two armed officers to be stationed at the school through the end of the academic year.
“I really, really feel strongly that we shouldn’t be here, but here we are,” Marrero said.
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The school had already been shaken by past violence, including the recent shooting near the school of a 16-year-old student and star soccer player. The student, Luis Garcia, was taken off life support in early March.
“This school has gone through a tremendous time over the last year or so,” Thomas said, adding the police department has “had a significant presence in the school” since Garcia was killed.
East High School students had planned on Wednesday to testify before the Colorado Legislature regarding a bill that would strengthen the state’s extreme risk law.
The shooting is the 83rd shooting on a K-12 school campus this calendar year, according to the K-12 School Shooting Database. It comes as March for Our Lives student activists plan to demonstrate in five U.S. state capitals this week to mark five years since the original marches in the wake of the mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida.
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Contributing: Grace Hauck, USA TODAY; Associated Press
Contact Christine Fernando at [email protected] or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.
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