Gunman Dead, Two Students Wounded At Colorado High School

Arapahoe County, Colo. Sheriff Grayson Robinson said Friday that the gunman in a shooting at a local high school was dead as the result of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

The shooting happened almost a year to the day after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. 

Robinson provided details of the shooting at a pair of news conferences scheduled a little more than an hour apart.

One student at Arapahoe High School was seriously wounded, according to the sheriff. After initially saying that the injured student was shot after confronting the gunman, Robinson said that was not the case. The injured student was undergoing surgery Friday afternoon at a local hospital, he said.

Another student also received minor injuries in the shooting.

According to Robinson, the first deputy sheriffs on the scene entered the school immediately and were prepared to engage the shooter. But the suspect was quickly found dead. 

“That individual is currently deceased and he apparently killed himself,” Robinson said. “That will still be part of the investigation.”

The sheriff said the shooter entered the school with a shotgun, looking for a specific teacher. After learning about being called out by name, the teacher exited the school, according to the sheriff. The teacher’s decision to exit the building was “the most important tactical decision that could have been made,” Robinson said.

“He knew he was the target and he left that school to encourage the shooter to also leave the school with the focus of safety and security and well-being of our students in his mind,” Robinson said of the teacher. 

He said the students were safer inside their locked classrooms than they would have been had they attempted to exit the school. 

Robinson said that he believed there was one explosive device, possibly a molotov cocktail, in the school. A bomb squad was still trying to identify the device.

Robinson said he knows the name of the shooter, who was a student at Arapahoe High School, but the sheriff did not release the young man’s name. He said there was “absolutely no indication” that the shooting was tied to the Sandy Hook massacre a year ago.

This post has been updated.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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