DENVER (AP) — A body found in the Colorado woods near an abandoned car was that of a 17-year-old student accused of wounding two administrators in a shooting at his Denver high school, a coroner's office said.
Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said the body was discovered Wednesday not far from the student's car in a remote mountain area about 50 miles southwest of Denver, near the small town of Bailey, in Park County. The town had been ordered to shelter in place while officers from a number of agencies including the FBI combed the forest.
The Park County coroner's office confirmed in a Facebook post that the body was that of the suspect's. The cause of death wasn't released, pending the completion of an autopsy.
The shooting occurred at East High School in Denver, not far from downtown, while two administrators searched the stiudent for weapons, a daily requirement because of the boy’s behavioral issues, authorities said. The boy fled after the shooting.
It occurred at a school shaken by frequent lockdowns and violence, including the recent killing outside the school of a classmate that prompted East High School students to march on the Colorado Capitol earlier this month. Parents who converged on the 2,500-student campus on Wednesday voiced frustration that officials had not done enough to protect their children.
“I am sick of it,” said Jesse Haase, who planned to talk with her daughter about taking her out of classes for the rest of the school year.
Amid the flurry of criticism over lax security, Denver school officials said after the shooting that they would once again put armed officers into the city’s public high schools.
There were no school resource officers on campus at the time of Wednesday’s shooting, said Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas.
One of the wounded administrators was released from the hospital Wednesday afternoon and the second was in serious condition, said Heather Burke, a spokesperson for Denver Health hospital.
After Wednesday’s shooting, two armed officers will be posted at East High School through the end of the school year, and other city high schools also will each get an officer, said Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero.
In a Wednesday letter to the city's Board of Education, Marrero said his decision violated district's policies but added he “can no longer stand on the sidelines.”
“I am the leader of this district who is charged with keeping our scholars and staff safe every day,” he wrote. The school board said it supported the decision.
Marrero said safety plans for students are enacted in response to “past educational and also behavioral experiences,” adding that it’s a common practice throughout Colorado’s public schools. Officials did not give further details on why Lyle was searched daily.
But daily pat downs are rare, said Franci Crepeau-Hobson, a University of Colorado Denver professor specializing in school violence prevention.
“Clearly they were concerned,” said Crepeau-Hobson. “I can’t imagine they’d do that if there wasn’t a history of the kid carrying a weapon.”
Safety plans often follow threatening or suicidal behavior from a student, said Christine Harms with the Colorado School Safety Resource Center.
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