Authorities are trying to identify a body discovered in a wooded area of Colorado on Wednesday that was close to a vehicle associated with a 17-year-old student accused of shooting two teachers at a Denver high school, where the neighborhood was already in shock following a fatal shooting last month.
According to Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw, a male body was discovered around 8:15 p.m. on Wednesday in Park County next to a red Volvo Car that authorities were looking for.
The identification of the body is pending the coroner’s report, which is anticipated to be made public on Thursday, McGraw added.
According to Denver police officials, Austin Lyle, a student who was subject to a safety policy that required him to undergo regular pat down searches upon entering the school, was the culprit who is accused of shooting and injuring two employees at East High School on Wednesday morning. The suspected student fled the scene, and a lengthy manhunt started.
According to Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas, one employee is in critical condition, while another sustained serious injuries and is stable.
McGraw told reporters on Wednesday that people should be “relieved,” adding that a previous shelter-in-place order for Park County residents close to where the SUV was found – approximately 50 miles southwest of Denver – has been canceled. This was done in an effort to calm a nervous population.
It’s done,” McGraw declared.
According to McGraw, the search for the suspect’s vehicle on Wednesday was “very intense,” and the FBI and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives were also involved.
Four hours after the SUV was first discovered at about 4:30 p.m., the Jefferson County SWAT team took charge of the search and eventually discovered a body approximately 1,000 feet from the suspect’s vehicle, according to McGraw.
Both the cause of the death and if a gun was discovered close to the body was not disclosed by the sheriff. Police did not specify whether the shooting’s gun had been found as of Wednesday.
The Park County Medical Examiner’s Office will identify the deceased’s name and cause of death, Denver Police stated in a tweet late on Wednesday.
According to the Gun Violence Archive, a non-profit organisation whose goal is to record every instance of gun violence across the country in real time, the shooting at East High School was the 18th shooting this year at an elementary or secondary school in the US in which at least one person was hurt or killed.
According to CNN affiliate KMGH, 16-year-old student Luis Garcia was shot inside a parked car close to the school last month and eventually passed away. Later, a group of East High students showed up at a city council meeting to demand action on school safety and gun violence, according to KMGH.
Denver Public Schools’ Alex Marrero issued a statement on Wednesday enforcing a rule requiring two armed officers from the Denver Police Department to be stationed at East High School throughout the academic day.
“This was my fourth time visiting the intensive care unit at Denver Health because of gun violence victims. These incidents shouldn’t have happened under my supervision or that of this Board, Marrero stated. “East High School, Denver Public Schools, and our entire Denver community are experiencing a sad and heartbreaking day.”
Following the incident, East High will be closed for the rest of the week, Marrero announced at a news conference on Wednesday.
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‘At This Point, We’re Simply Numb To It’
Another illustration of how violence devastates one of the safest, yet riskiest, settings for kids is the shooting at East High. Additionally, the chaos was all too familiar to the school’s kids.
When Aubriana Acuna heard about the shooting, she admitted to “freaking out,” and she argued that it’s unfair that she must put up with frequent instances of gun violence.
“We’re just kind of numb to it at this point since this has happened so much,” she told KMGH. “We’re so exhausted about all this. It’s so unfair. … This happens almost every single day. I can’t even walk outside my house without feeling like I’m gonna die, or I’m gonna get shot. And it’s terrifying for everyone.”
Several students have recently taken to the streets to call for a change in the way their community addresses gun violence.
Earlier last month, the Denver East High School Students Demand Action chapter organized a walkout and demanded quick action on gun safety. More than 1,000 students and educators participated in the protest, which was highlighted by a march through the city to the State Capitol, according to the organization.
The school was my safe place,” “Our blood, your hands,” and “Am I next” were among the posters that students at the event held while wearing red, according to KMGH.
Around 2,500 students in the 9th through 12th grades attend East High, which is situated in the City Park area. According to the educational system, the school is Denver Public Schools’ largest and best-performing comprehensive high school.
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