Two adult faculty members were shot by a 17-year-old student in a Denver high school on Wednesday morning.
The suspect, identified by police as Austin Lyle, was found dead in a remote wooded area later Wednesday, according to the Coroners office which is investigated the cause of death.
The two victims, both male, have been transported to a local hospital, according to local Fox 31 News.
One of the victims is in serious condition and the other is in surgery with life-threatening injuries, reported local NBC 9 News.
Denver Police were on the scene, assisted by the Denver Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Students were held in third period classes and released once police cleared the building.
“UPDATE: At this time, two adult victims have been located and transported to area hospitals. It is believed the suspect is no longer on scene, and investigators are working to develop additional info,” said a tweet by police in the morning.
UPDATE: At this time, two adult victims have been located and transported to area hospitals. It is believed the suspect is no longer on scene, and investigators are working to develop additional info. #Denver
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) March 22, 2023
The shooting occurred during a search of a student by administrators in an office area away from classrooms, according to 9 News.
The local TV station called the shooter a “juvenile” and said that the weapon has not been recovered.
Lyle is known to both the administrators and the police and previously agreed to be patted down every time he entered the building, said CBS News Colorado.
“As part of a safety plan they were undergoing a search, as part of that search a weapon was retrieved, a handgun was retrieved, and several shots were fired, striking those two individuals, that individual then fled the school and we do know who that individual is and a search is underway to try to locate that particular individual,” said Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas.
Police rushed to the scene around 9:50 a.m. local time.
Before students were released, angry parents confronted the police chief and mayor outside of the school over recent violence.
Last month an East student, Louis Garcia, was shot near the school and eventually died from his wounds.
The shooting prompted a walk out by students several days after Garcia died, calling for better security and more security cameras around the violence-plagued high school.
“We need change. This has happened way too much,” student Alaijah Sims told 9 News.
“We’ve gotten to the point this isn’t something that East students should be worrying about.
We shouldn’t have to fight to be safe in our schools. We’ve all gotten fed up.”
The Denver School Board made the decision in 2020 to remove School Resource Officers (SROs) from all schools, including Denver East High School, but the Garcia shooting renewed calls for the SROs to be reinstated.
At least nine guns have been found on Denver school grounds so far this year, according to Chalkbeat Colorado.
“What’s holding it back is the politics,” Vernon Jones, who previously served as assistant principal of Manual High School, told Chalkbeat about the absence of SROs.
Jones is now an executive partner at FaithBridge, an education advocacy organization.
East High School will cancel classes tomorrow and Denver Public Schools will begin spring break on Friday.