STEM School Shooting

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STEM School Shooting

Alora, Contributor

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Another devastating shooting has made national news. On Tuesday, May 7, a school shooter currently unknown to authorities, entered the school and left behind eight injured students and one fatality. With nine of their students shot, STEM School Highlands Ranch is in a state of shock soon after joining hundreds of schools in closing temporarily for the 20th anniversary of Columbine High School shooting.

Officials are holding two suspects for the shooting, and both were fellow Highlands Ranch students. “’We know two individuals walked into the STEM school, got deep inside the school and engaged students in two separate locations,’ Sheriff Tony Spurlock of Douglas County said at a news conference’ (The New York Times). The two suspects were carrying at least two handguns and at least one of the two had been restrained by a security officer when law enforcement arrived on the scene. Police had to force themselves into the building which had been put in lock-down mode, which could have been the shooters’ preparation. Here they apprehended one of the suspects, an 18-year-old man named Devin Erickson. While the authorities cleaned out the school, students were taken to a nearby recreation center to be reunited with worried and anxious parents.

The shooting left one dead and eight students injured. The student who was shot and killed has been identified as Kendrick Castillo. Castillo jumped up in an attempt to stop his tardy classmate who had pulled out a gun. He was shot and killed in the attempt. Interviews with witnesses reveal the awe that is held for Castillo. He was deemed a hero by his classmates for his sacrifice. Other students seemed to have acted with the courage of a police officer while staring down the death. “His death came only a week after a student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte was killed as he stepped in to stop another gunman on campus” (The New York Times). His self-sacrifice, as described by Ms. Giasolli, gave the rest of the students time to flee the room. A few of the other boys risked their own lives to tackle the gunman themselves. The eight students who were injured were reported to have been shot by another gunman elsewhere in the school.

Security for schools in and around Denver have heightened is the light of Columbine High shooting and the report of an open-fire on a classroom at U.N.C. Charlotte. Hundreds have even closed in the last month and the rest are on edge after authorities pointed out the potential threat of a run-up shooting. The STEM Highlands School shooting shares rare connections with the massacre that was Columbine High twenty years ago. Both assaults on the schools had two shooters, while normally, one person is responsible for the harm of students. “The STEM School is about seven miles from Columbine, where Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris killed 13 people on April 20, 1999” (CNN). Dave Cullen, author of “Parkland: Birth of a Movement” and “Columbine” said school shooters like those on Tuesday study attacks like Columbine before executing their own. Whereas authorities took 45 minutes to react to the shooting at Columbine, a faster response happened at Highlands. This could have been a factor in saving many lives. The difference in fatalities shows some proof to this, with thirteen dead at the Columbine shooting.

After a tragedy such as this, more people are questioning why school shootings are happening so often. However, now is the time for the victims to heal and families to find comfort. Further information will be released regarding the suspects who are now going through court proceedings.

www.nytimes.com/2019/05/07/us/colorado-school-shooting.html

www.nytimes.com/2019/05/08/us/colorado-shooting-victims.html

www.cnn.com/2019/05/08/us/colorado-two-school-shooters-rare/index.html

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