Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Colorado Shooting: One of the suspects reportedly identifies as transgender

Colorado Shooting: One of the suspects reportedly identifies as transgender

"We are pretty much really mad because they turned us into politics about gun control when we came here to respect our brother", said another. "We are people, not a statement", said one student wearing a yellow Spartans shirt.

On NBC's "Today", STEM student Nui Giasolli, who said she was in British Literature at the time of the shooting, said Castillo had lunged at the shooter.

But he said the guard, a Marine Corps veteran who was deployed to Afghanistan and previously worked for the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, was a hero.

He was the only one killed in the attack last Tuesday afternoon, but eight others - all students - were injured as well.

The vigil in the gym of the school was one of several held to honor victims of the shooting, including an 18-year-old student who was killed when two gunmen were reported to have opened fire at the school on May 7. "That's just kind of what I believe in", said Kristina Nenova.

This area of Colorado has experienced a great deal of suffering over gun violence in the last few decades.

The two allegedly walked into the school through an entrance without metal detectors and opened fire in two classrooms just miles away from Columbine High School and just weeks after the 20th anniversary of a massacre there.

DCSD has not said whether it is common for STEM to receive shooting threats, given the school's proximity to Columbine. The two locations' voter habits are also different.


Fernando Montoya told The Denver Channel his son, who was shot three times but is expected to survive, told him a shooter produced a gun from a guitar case. In Florida previous year, students led the conversation and many appeared happy to appear on camera to broadcast their grief and anger to the nation.

"They don't get what it's like to have people yelling at you, saying 'school shooter, run for your life.' You do not get what it's like to look a teacher straight in the eye and say, 'run, run for your life'". Many were also frustrated by some TV camera crews, who they felt were pursuing students too aggressively. Only one remained hospitalized as of May 10, and that student was at Littleton Adventist Hospital in fair condition, according to a hospital spokesperson.

For now, the family of Castillo has declined the offer for unknown reasons.

Kodak's attorney, Bradford Cohen, sent a message, on behalf of the hip-hop star, to Castillo's parents that read, "First let me tell you words can not describe my sorrow for your situation".

A spokesperson for Colorado Sen.

"The unfortunate fact is that schools with and without SROs have experienced violence", reads a statement from STEM's public relations firm. "They are our focus and the event should have been set up to ensure their voices were fully heard".

The district official's letter, seen by Reuters, said the parent told Douglas County School Board of Education Director Wendy Vogel by telephone that "many students are suicidal and violent in school".

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