HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (Reuters) – Two students walked into a Denver-area science and technology school and opened fire on Tuesday, wounding eight of their schoolmates before they were taken into custody, law enforcement officials said.
Several of the victims of the shooting were in critical condition and in surgery at local hospitals, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said at an afternoon briefing. Spurlock declined to comment on a possible motive for the shooting rampage, saying it was too early in the investigation to speculate.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s office said deputies heard shots coming from the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) School in Highlands Ranch, about 25 miles (40 km) south of Denver, when they arrived to investigate reports of gunfire.
The shooting occurred less than a month after the 20th anniversary of the Columbine High School massacre in nearby Littleton, about five miles (8 km) from the STEM school.
In 1999, two Columbine students killed 13 people there before committing suicide in what remains one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.
Additional reporting by Steve Gorman and Dan Whitcomb in Los Angeles, Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico, and Peter Szekely in New York; Writing by Dan Whitcomb; Editing by Jonathan Oatis