On Wednesday, a student at Denver’s East High School shot and wounded two school administrators during a daily search for weapons. The suspect, identified as 17-year-old Austin Lyle, is still at large and wanted for attempted homicide. The incident has raised concerns about safety at the school, which has experienced multiple instances of gun violence and threats of violence this year.
The shooting occurred in an office area away from students, and Lyle was undergoing a search for weapons when a gun was discovered. He then fired shots and fled the building, according to Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas. Lyle had previously been “removed” from Overland High School in Aurora due to discipline issues, and he is required to be searched every morning as part of a pre-existing safety plan.
The victims of the shooting were identified as Dean of Culture Eric Sinclair and Jerald Mason, a restorative practice coordinator in the dean’s office. Students and parents at East High School are understandably concerned about the recent violence and the lack of police presence on campus.
East High School has not had Denver police officers assigned to the school since the Denver Public Schools Board of Education removed all school resource officers in the wake of the murder of George Floyd in 2020. However, DPS Superintendent Alex Marrero announced that two armed officers will be at East for the remainder of the school year and suggested that the district should consider “re-establishing a relationship” with the Denver Police Department.