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Details Emerge On Victims And Alleged Shooters At Denver School

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

We're learning more today about the people involved in the shooting yesterday at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in suburban Denver, Colo. One student was killed; eight others were wounded. And joining us now is Colorado Public Radio reporter Natalia Navarro. Welcome to the program.

NATALIA NAVARRO, BYLINE: Hello. Thank you.

SHAPIRO: What more can you tell us about the people who were shot in this attack yesterday?

NAVARRO: The Douglas County coroner identified the deceased victim as 18-year-old Kendrick Ray Castillo. He was an aspiring Marine who died trying to save his classmates' lives. He apparently lunged at a shooter. Castillo would have been graduating this spring, and this Friday was supposed to be the last day for seniors. Five surviving victims have been released from area hospitals. Three others are still in the hospital recovering. Police say that the shooters were unharmed because there was no exchange of gunfire with police.

SHAPIRO: What else can you tell us about the suspected shooters?

NAVARRO: The authorities have two suspects in custody right now, one 18-year-old man and another juvenile suspect. The 18-year-old was identified as Devon Erickson. He appeared in court earlier today wearing a red prison jumpsuit. He has shoulder-length hair dyed black and purple. The DA is asking for no bond to be set on him right now, but a hearing to file criminal charges against him is set for this Friday afternoon. The other alleged shooter is a 17-year-old person who was also in court today. Parents of the student who died, Kendrick Castillo - they were present at the hearing today as well.

SHAPIRO: Have authorities said anything about - of the motive behind the shooting?

NAVARRO: Right now they're still investigating, and they haven't said whether there was a clear motive or not.

SHAPIRO: How unusual is it for more than one shooter to be involved in a school shooting like this?

NAVARRO: It's rare. We talked to psychologist Peter Langman. He studies school shooters. He says he knows of just a few attacks, including Columbine and yesterday's shootings, that had more than one shooter. He says his research suggests that if multiple people plan a school attack, it's more likely to be discovered and prevented. We know perpetrators - most of them discuss their plans or disclose them in one way or another to their peers, usually through social media. So it's kind of a numbers game. The more perpetrators there are, the more likely it is someone will hear about it. But it's still unclear if anyone knew about these plans for a shooting before it happened yesterday.

SHAPIRO: You mentioned earlier that seniors at the school were supposed to be done with classes on Friday. Is that still the case?

NAVARRO: Yeah. Seniors are supposed to be done. And Douglas County sheriff says they're actually still looking for locations for those other students. It's a kindergarten through 12th grade school. They're looking for locations for those students to finish out the last couple weeks of the school year.

SHAPIRO: And I assume there are support resources now being deployed for those kids and the parents who are probably pretty traumatized by this.

NAVARRO: Yeah. The school is actually still closed while the FBI investigates probably for another two days. In the meantime, we've talked to students that say they're reaching out to each other for support. There is going to be a vigil tonight. There's expected to be - U.S. Senator Michael Bennet and U.S. Representative Jason Crow are supposed to be there. And they're supporting each other right now.

SHAPIRO: That's Natalia Navarro of Colorado Public Radio. Thanks very much.

NAVARRO: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.


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