CENTENNIAL, Colo. — A student who went to his suburban Denver high school yesterday armed with a shotgun and looking for a specific teacher shot two students, including one critically, before apparently killing himself, the local sheriff said.
“The teacher began to understand that he was being looked at and exited the school. One student confronted the armed student and was shot,” Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson said.
One of the wounded students, a girl, was in serious condition, Robinson said. The other student suffered minor injuries and was expected to be released from the hospital Friday night, he said.
A suspected Molotov cocktail was also found inside Arapahoe High School, the sheriff said. The bomb squad was investigating the device.
The student with the shotgun wasn’t trying to hide it when he entered the school from a student parking area and started asking for the teacher by name, Robinson said.
The teacher then left the school, Robinson said.
“He knew he was the target and he left that school in an effort to try to encourage the shooter to also leave the school,” the sheriff said. “That was a very wise tactical decision.”
Deputies and police officers who responded to the school immediately entered to engage the gunman as students were kept locked in their classrooms.
“Within 20 minutes of the time of the report of the shooting, our deputies found the suspect dead inside the school,” Robinson said.
Several other school districts in the Denver area went into lockdown as reports of the shooting spread. Police as far away as Fort Collins, about a two-hour drive north, were increasing security at public schools because of the shooting, which came a day before the anniversary of the Newtown, Conn., school shooting, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School.