The student who was accused of shooting and wounding two faculty members at his Denver high school has been found dead near his vehicle in Park County.
The Park County Coroner's Office confirmed in a Facebook post that the body belonged to 17-year-old Austin Lyle, who shot faculty members as they were patting him down for weapons as part of a "safety plan" devised for the youth based on previous behavioral issues.
The East High School student fled the shooting scene on foot immediately after Wednesday's violence, which unfolded just before 10 a.m. local time.
Denver Police Department had said in a tweet that a body was located near the suspect's vehicle, adding that the identity and cause of death would be determined by the Park County Medical Examiner's Office.
"This particular student had a safety plan that was in place where they were to be searched at the beginning of the school day every day," Thomas said
While the staffers, both of them male, were conducting that search, several shots were fired, the chief said. The handgun used in the shooting was not recovered at the school.
ALERT: #DPD is responding to a shooting at East High School. Unknown number of victims at this time. Investigators are working to gather information, expect large police presence in the area. Updates will be posted to this thread as they are made available. #Denver pic.twitter.com/YkosOOOjmS— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) March 22, 2023
The victims were taken to a hospital where one was in critical condition and undergoing surgery, and the other was in serious but stable condition, Thomas said.
Neither police nor education authorities disclosed the specific conduct that led the school to adopt an individualized security protocol for the student. A wanted bulletin issued after the shooting included a photo of the student and of a car similar to one he might be driving.
Denver school board policy
The bloodshed came three years after the Denver school board voted to eliminate its program of assigning armed city police officers, known as school resources officers, to its public school campuses, relying instead on the school district's own security team.
In light of Wednesday's shooting, two armed police officers will be returned to East High School, located in Denver's City Park neighborhood, for the rest of the current academic year, said Alex Marrero, the district superintendent.
Classes for the school's 2,500 students will be canceled for the rest of the week, Marrero said.
US school shootings in 2022
Dozens of shootings at US schools causing death or injuries occurred in 2022. One of the deadliest took place in May when a gunman killed 19 children and two adults in Uvalde, Texas.
Classes were canceled for the day for East High's 2,500 students and will not resume this week. When they do, two armed police officers will be posted at the school until the end of the school year, said Alex Marrero, the district's administrator.