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Source: Shooting Suspects Tried to Burn Home First

Sources say a guard may have accidentally fired on a deputy amid the chaos
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted May 10, 2019 7:14 AM CDT
Source: Shooting Suspects Tried to Burn Home First
Devon Erickson, an accused STEM School shooter, appears at the Douglas County Courthouse in Castle Rock, Colo., Wednesday, May 8, 2019.   (Joe Amon/The Denver Post via AP, Pool)

(Newser) – A former Marine working as a private security guard may have fired on a sheriff's deputy amid the chaos of the Colorado school shooting this week, the Denver Post reports, citing a law enforcement source. The source says investigators are trying to determine whether one of the eight students wounded in the attack at Highlands Ranch STEM School was hit by the guard's bullet. Robert Burk, an attorney for the guard, says he can't talk about specifics—but he doesn't believe the guard injured anybody, and he wants to stress that the guard is a hero who "ran there as quick as he could and took what I think is decisive action that helped save lives." More:

  • From his employer. The guard's employer, CEO of BOSS High Level Protection Grant Whitus, says the man restrained one of two alleged shooters in a hallway. "He doesn't even realize how many lives he saved by stopping a school shooting," says Whitus, a former SWAT team leader who responded to the 1999 Columbine massacre. Whitus tells ABC that the guard was interviewed for about an hour after the Tuesday shooting and hasn't been questioned since.

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  • Court appearance. The two suspects, the elder identified by officials as 18-year-old Devon Erickson, are scheduled to appear in court Friday, reports the AP. Police say the suspects walked into two classrooms at the Denver-area school and opened fire.
  • Arson attempt. Sources tell Fox31 that before the shooting Tuesday morning, the suspects tried to set fire to Erickson's home, though no major damage was caused.
  • "Smashed gun cabinet." Denver7, citing a "high-ranking source," reports that investigators believe the suspects "smashed" a gun cabinet at Erickson's home to get the two handguns reportedly used in the shootings. The sources say the suspects are also believed to have spray painted "F--- society" and "666" on one of their parent's cars.
  • 2nd shooter could be charged as an adult. The AP reports that District Attorney George Brauchler is expected to file formal charges against the two suspects at Friday's hearing as well as announce whether the 16-year-old suspect will be charged as an adult. The suspects have been held without bond since Tuesday.
(Hero student Kendrick Castillo, 18, was shot after tackling one of the suspects.)

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