The student killed in Tuesday's shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch in suburban Denver went out a hero. Kendrick Castillo, 18, along with two of his friends, tackled a shooter—seen pulling a gun out of a guitar case—and was shot in the chest, reports NBC News. The sacrifice "[gave] all of us enough time to get underneath our desks, to get ourselves safe, and to run across the room to escape," another student says. "We're going to hear about very heroic things that have taken place at the school," adds Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, per USA Today. More details emerging:
- Student suspects: One is identified as Devon Erickson, 18. Spurlock describes a second, initially identified as a male, as a female minor. Denver Channel, however, describes a juvenile suspect in the process of transitioning from female to male. Spurlock says "we originally thought the juvenile was a male by appearance," but wouldn't comment on whether the suspect is transgender.
- The shooting: The pair are accused of firing on two classrooms at the public charter school after passing through an entrance without metal detectors, per the AP. Spurlock says they had a "number of weapons," including two handguns they weren't old enough to possess.
- Capture: Deputies reportedly arrested the suspects within minutes, with no gunfire exchanged, per the AP. Spurlock said one of the suspects was detained by a security guard at the school, attended by more than 1,850 students in kindergarten through grade 12.
- A Columbine link?: Citing multiple sources, Denver Channel reports the motive "went beyond bullying and involved revenge and anger towards others at the school." Some are questioning whether the shooting was inspired by the 1999 massacre at Columbine High School, just seven miles away. Per the AP, "the answer was not immediately clear."
- The injured: Eight students aged 15 and older were treated at three hospitals, including one student shot three times. Five had been released by Wednesday morning, while three remained in intensive care.
- The terror: A 8-year-old second-grader tells the New York Times of hearing his first ever gunshot. His mother, speaking for most parents, says, "We're more messed up than they are."
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