In a shocking incident that has once again raised concerns over school safety, a student opened fire at a Denver high school on Wednesday morning. The 17-year-old suspect, whose name is Austin Lyle, shot and wounded two administrators after a handgun was found during a daily search of the boy that was being conducted due to his behavioral issues. The shooting occurred at a school that has been shaken by frequent lockdowns and violence, including the killing of a classmate that prompted East High School students to march on the Colorado Capitol earlier this month.
Parents who converged on the 2,500-student campus on Wednesday faulted officials for not doing enough to protect their children. Denver school officials, facing criticism over lax security, said they were putting armed officers into every high school. Police were searching for Austin Lyle for attempted homicide. The gun used in the shooting was not immediately recovered, Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said.
The shooting happened just before 10 a.m. in an office area as the student was undergoing a search as part of a “safety plan” that required him to be patted down daily, officials said. One of the wounded administrators remained in serious condition and the other was in good condition, said Heather Burke, a spokesperson for Denver Health hospital. Both victims are male.
Police issued an alert linking Lyle to a red 2005 Volvo X90 with Colorado plates and offered a reward up to $2,000 for information on the case. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock warned that Lyle is armed and dangerous and willing to use the weapon, as law enforcement searched for him.
The incident has once again highlighted the need for stronger security measures in schools across the United States. The ongoing debate about gun control and school safety measures is likely to intensify in the wake of this incident, as parents and lawmakers call for more action to protect children in educational settings.