Two students are suspects in the shooting at a Denver area STEM school that killed one student and wounded eight others.
The suspects were apprehended after allegedly targeting two separate areas of the STEM School Highlands Ranch on Tuesday afternoon. Authorities identified Devon Erickson, 18, as one of the suspected shooters.
Authorities identified a second suspect as a juvenile female, but a public defender clarified that the juvenile prefers to use male pronouns. NBC News is not identifying the underage suspect, who has not yet been charged.
Here’s what else we know:
Who are the victims?
One student, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, was killed in the shooting.
Castillo, who died at the scene, would have finished his high school career on Friday along with the school’s other seniors, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said.
“The student was going to graduate and would’ve been out of school in three days,” the sheriff said.
Castillo is credited with saving lives by diving at a shooter, allowing other students time to flee as he was fatally shot.
Eight other people at the school were shot and hospitalized, Spurlock said. By Wednesday morning, five of those who were injured had been released from hospitals, and three remained in intensive care.
Who are the suspects?
Authorities initially described the suspects as an adult male and a juvenile male, but later said the suspect was female. The sheriff described the suspect is a “small young person,” who investigators thought was a juvenile male “by appearance.”
“The identity wasn’t obvious to us when they were taken into custody,” he said Wednesday.
The suspect’s public defender said that the juvenile prefers to to use male pronouns. NBC News is not identifying the underage suspect, who has not yet been charged.
The adult suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Devon Erickson. Erickson made a brief initial appearance in a Douglas County courthouse on Wednesday, where he only uttered the word “no,” responding to the judge asking if he had any questions.
The juvenile and Erickson knew each other and would sometimes carpool to school together, Spurlock told NBC News.
Erickson had recently posted a senior photo on his Facebook page, where he listed Pokémon and “The Walking Dead” as interests, along with several pop bands. He had also posted pictures of him acting in “Legally Blonde the Musical” and “Les Misérables” at a local community theater.
On his YouTube page, he had posted videos of him singing, and his bio on Twitter read: “I make music I guess.”
The suspect’s mother, Stephanie Erickson, 56, told the New York Post on Wednesday that the family needed “a little time right now.”
When asked if she had any idea what would lead her son to carry out a school shooting, she said through tears: “I don’t, no.”
The shooters, armed with handguns, entered the K-12 school Tuesday afternoon through the middle school, which has no metal detectors and one contracted armed security officer, Spurlock said.
They were both “able to get deep inside the school” because they were students there, he said.
Officers arrived within two minutes and heard gunfire when they entered the school, but they never exchanged gunfire with the suspects, Spurlock said.