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A suspect in Colorado’s latest school shooting faces one count of first-degree murder, as well as 29 additional accounts of attempted murder.
The suspect, 18-year-old Devon Erickson, will make his first court appearance Wednesday afternoon, and faces some 30 charges, according to court records obtained by Reuters.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s office first identified Erickson as one of the shooters on Tuesday, but have so far declined to name the second suspect, who is a minor. Both suspects were taken into police custody without a fight, authorities said.
The shooting took place at a K-12 charter school in Highlands Ranch, a suburb of Denver, and claimed nine victims.
One student, Kendrick Castillo, lost his life as he attempted to stop the perpetrators, allowing others to flee to safety. He was just weeks away from graduation. Eight students were also injured in the shooting, three of whom remain in hospital for their injuries.
Nui Giasolli, a student at the school who was present for the shooting, told NBC’s ‘Today’ that she was in her British literature class when one of the perpetrators pulled a gun.
“That’s when Kendrick lunged at him, and he shot Kendrick, giving us all enough time to get underneath our desks to get ourselves safe, to run across the room to escape,” Giasolli said.
Another student, Brendan Bialy, who is a member of the Marine Corps Delayed Entry Program, was also commended for his heroism in helping to stop the attackers. He was not harmed.
Colorado Governor Jared Polis joined Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock and District Attorney George Brauchler at a press conference early Wednesday to address the shooting.
“This does not define us. It won’t today and it won’t tomorrow,” Brauchler said, while the governor added “our hearts are hurting for [the victims].”
President Trump also had words of condolence for the victims, lamenting the “unspeakable violence that took a precious young life.”
It is unclear how the suspects obtained the handguns they used in the shooting, as Colorado law restricts handgun sales to those aged 21 and older. Neither suspect was of age to buy or own the weapons.
Erickson will not formally face charges until prosecutors bring them in the coming weeks.