Student who was patted down each day allegedly shoots two staffers at Denver high school


(DENVER) — A student who was under a “certain agreement to be patted down each day” at school allegedly shot and wounded two school administrators at East High School in Denver, authorities said.

The suspect, Austin Lyle, 17, fled the school on Wednesday morning after the shooting, Denver police said. His body was later discovered, officials said.

Police searching for the suspect had located his car in Park County, which is located southwest of Denver, officials said Wednesday evening. A male body was found near the vehicle, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw later said during a press conference. The scene was being processed and the coroner was en route to the scene, McGraw said.

The Park County Coroner’s Office later confirmed that the body was Lyle’s.

The handgun used in the shooting has not been recovered as of Wednesday. Police had warned the public to not approach Lyle, calling him armed and dangerous. They said that Lyle, who had been wanted for attempted homicide, may have been be driving a 2005 red Volvo XC90 with Colorado license plate BSCW10.

The faculty members were both hospitalized following the shooting. They have been identified by the school district as Eric Sinclair, who remains in serious condition, and Jerald Mason, who was upgraded from serious to good condition. Mason has since been released from the hospital, Denver Health said.

The suspected shooter was required to be searched at the beginning of each school day, officials said. He allegedly shot the school administrators as they patted him down Wednesday morning in the school’s office area, which officials said is away from other students and staff.

The suspect’s daily searches were part of a “safety plan” that was a result of “previous behavior,” officials said, though they did not elaborate on the previous behavior.

East High School was placed on lockdown in the wake of the shooting. Denver Public Schools later said it received clearance to start releasing students.

Last month, East High School students went to a city council meeting to call for action on school safety and gun violence after a 16-year-old student was fatally shot near the school, according to ABC Denver affiliate KMGH-TV.

The superintendent said Wednesday that the school will be closed for the rest of this week, and that the building will now have two armed officers present through the end of the school year.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a statement said removing school resource officers was a “mistake” and said they should be quickly returned.

“We all have to step up as a community and be a part of the solution,” he said.

Hancock also called on Congress to pass “common sense” gun legislation.

“Parents are angry and frustrated, and they have a right to be,” he said. “Easy access to guns must be addressed in our country — Denver cannot do this alone.”

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters Wednesday that the administration’s “hearts go out to the families of the two school administrators and in Denver today and to the entire school community.”

Jean-Pierre noted that President Joe Biden unveiled another executive action aimed at tackling gun violence last week but that “as the president said in the State of the Union, Congress needs to do something.”

This shooting comes two years to the day after a mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that claimed 10 lives.

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