(DENVER) — A student who was under a “certain agreement to be patted down each day” at school allegedly shot and wounded two school administrators at East High School in Denver, authorities said.
The suspect, a juvenile armed with a handgun, fled the school after the Wednesday morning shooting, but Denver police said they know who he is and a search for him is ongoing. The gun has not been recovered, police said.
Both faculty members are in serious condition, according to the hospital. One underwent surgery and the second was able to speak to authorities, officials said.
The suspected shooter was required to be searched at the beginning of each school day, officials said. He allegedly shot the school administrators as they patted him down Wednesday morning in the school’s office area, which officials said is away from other students and staff.
The suspect’s daily searches were part of a “safety plan” that was a result of “previous behavior,” officials said, though they did not elaborate on the previous behavior.
Police described the suspect as an African American teenager wearing an Astronaut hoodie. Police warned the public to not approach him, calling him armed and dangerous.
East High School was placed on lockdown in the wake of the shooting. Denver Public Schools later said it received clearance to start releasing students.
Last month, East High School students went to a city council meeting to call for action on school safety and gun violence after a 16-year-old student was fatally shot near the school, according to ABC Denver affiliate KMGH.
The superintendent said Wednesday that the school will be closed the rest of this week, and that the building will now have two armed officers present through the end of the school year.
Denver Mayor Michael Hancock in a statement said removing school resource officers was a “mistake” and said they should be quickly returned.
“We all have to step up as a community and be a part of the solution,” he said.
Hancock also called on Congress to pass “common sense” gun legislation.
“Parents are angry and frustrated, and they have a right to be,” he said. “Easy access to guns must be addressed in our country — Denver cannot do this alone.”
This shooting comes two years to the day after a mass shooting at a King Soopers grocery store in Boulder, Colorado, that claimed 10 lives.
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