NewsCovering Colorado


Sheriff: Adult male, juvenile female arrested for school shooting in Highlands Ranch

Posted at 8:49 AM, May 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-08 14:27:20-04

HIGHLANDS RANCH – Authorities now say an 18-year-old man and a juvenile female are suspected of killing one and injuring eight others in a shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch Tuesday.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said Tuesday that a juvenile male had been taken into custody, but he corrected that statement in a news conference Wednesday morning. Her identity has not been released.

“We originally thought that we had a juvenile male in custody, but through our interviews yesterday afternoon, we determined that we have a juvenile female in custody now,” Spurlock said.

The adult suspect, identified as 18-year-old Devon Erickson, is set to make his first court appearance Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. Both suspects were students at the school. Spurlock said the adult suspect was set to graduate and would have left school in three days.

Spurlock said deputies did not fire any shots when they arrested the suspects and were able to quickly apprehend them.

Local and federal authorities are now searching the homes where the suspects lived. They seized the suspect’s vehicles as well. The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms is working to determine where the guns involved in the shooting were bought.

Kendrick Castillo
Photo of 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo (NBC News/Facebook)

NBC News is reporting 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo died in the shooting, citing the victim’s family. Sheriff Spurlock declined to release the victim’s identity, but he said the person died at the scene.

In an interview with NBC, a classmate reported that Castillo was killed while trying to lunge at one of the gunmen.

Eight others were injured in the shooting. Spurlock said Wednesday morning that three remain in intensive care units at area hospitals.  All other victims have been released from the hospital.  He said all victims were 15 years old or older and all victims were shot.

Roughly 1,800 students attend the STEM School, which is in the Douglas County School District. Luckily, the campus is one block from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, which allowed for deputies to arrive at the scene in about two minutes.

“I believe the quick response of officers helped save lives,” Spurlock said. “A quick response eliminates a lot of this issue right off the bat.”

Spurlock said the school had an armed security guard, but it did not have a school resource officer assigned to the building. He also said there were no metal detectors at the school.

The school will remain closed for the remainder of the week. Local and federal authorities expect to be at the crime scene for at least another two days. Other schools in the Douglas County School District will have an increased security presence and additional support staff available on Wednesday.

The district is also opening a crisis support center for students, staff and families affected by the incident. That center is located at the following location:

St. Andrew United Methodist Church
9203 South University Boulevard
Highlands Ranch, CO 80126

It opens at 8 a.m. Wednesday.

Tuesday’s shooting marks another mass shooting in the Denver metro area, which has seen multiple acts of mass violence in recent years.

“If you had suggested to anyone behind me or in this room that within 20 years and 20 miles we would have dealt with Columbine, the Aurora theater, Arapahoe High School, the shooting of Zach Parrish and four other deputies, I would have thought you mad and yet here we are again.” said 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler.

Gov. Polis echoed that sentiment in his remarks at the Wednesday morning news conference.

“I think at this point, Coloradans are really heartbroken, frustrated, still shocked, and frankly sick over a mass shooting occurring right here in Douglas County,” said Gov. Jared Polis.