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STEM School shooting suspects will not appear in court Friday

Posted at 8:54 AM, May 10, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-10 11:22:54-04

CASTLE ROCK – A court spokesperson said the suspects in the shooting at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch will not appear in court until next week.

The filing of the charges has been continued until next Wednesday at 10 a.m. Neither suspect will appear in court Friday.

The adult suspect is being held without bond and is suspected of one count of first-degree murder and 29 counts of attempted first-degree murder.

A source also told our news partners Denver7 that investigators are looking into whether the suspects attempted to make the scene appear that the shooting stemmed from bullying. A car with graffiti covering it was towed from the home of one of the suspects and investigators said the suspect tried to set the vehicle on fire before they left to go to school.

Denver7 reports the suspects broke into a locked gun cabinet and stole the weapons used in the attack. Sources told Denver7 that three handguns and a rifle were recovered, but Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said in a news conference earlier this week that at least two handguns were recovered. He declined to say if any more weapons were involved.

In addition to the investigation into the suspects, a law enforcement official said investigators are working to determine if a private security guard employed by the school fired at a responding deputy and wounded a student.

The security guard’s attorney, Robert Burk, did not confirm or deny the reports, but he said his client acted in the best interests of protecting the children at the school. He did not name the security guard.

“He ran there as quick as he could and took what I think is decisive action that helped save lives,” Burk said Thursday.

The guard was employed by Boss High Level Protection, a company started by a former SWAT team leader who responded to the Columbine shooting. The owner, Grant Whitus, told The Associated Press the security guard is a former Marine who ran to the area of the shootings and confronted one of the armed students in a hallway.

Douglas County School District spokeswoman Paula Hans declined to comment on any actions the guard took and referred questions to the sheriff’s department.

Kendrick Castillo, 18, was shot and killed in the shooting while lunging at one of the suspects. Students Brendan Bialy and Joshua Jones are also credited with saving lives. Eight other students were shot in the attack Tuesday afternoon.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report)