DENVER, CO — Two school administrators were shot on Wednesday morning at a Denver high school after a handgun was found on a student subjected to daily searches, authorities said.
The male, juvenile suspect remained at large and the gun was not immediately recovered following the shooting at East High School, Police Chief Ron Thomas said.
The shooting happened just before 10 a.m. in an area away from classrooms as the student was undergoing a daily search as part of a “safety plan,” officials said. One of the administrators was critically injured and was undergoing surgery at an area hospital. The second victim was in stable condition, Thomas said. Both victims are male.
Thomas said police know the identity of the suspect and were confident they would apprehend him.
“He obviously is armed and dangerous and willing to use the weapon, as we’ve learned this morning,” said Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, warning the community as they search for the suspect.
Earlier this month students from the school skipped class and marched to Colorado’s state Capitol to demand stricter gun laws, following the death of a fellow student who was shot while sitting in a car near the school.
East High School did not have any school resource officers on campus at the time of the shooting, Thomas said. Following the shooting, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero said two armed officers will be posted at East High School through the end of the school year, .
The suspect in Wednesday’s shooting had transferred to East High School from another district, Marrero said. Officials did not reveal why the student was being searched daily.
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.
The school, not far from downtown near a busy street that cuts through the city, was placed on lockdown as police investigated the shooting.
Hundreds of parents lined up along a road near the school, with the scene sealed off by police.
Denver Public School confirmed the victims were administrators.
Wednesday was also the second anniversary of 10 people being shot and killed at a supermarket in Boulder, Colorado.