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Thursday May 23rd, 2019 4:57AM

The Latest: School shooting suspect Devon Erickson

By The Associated Press
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HIGHLANDS RANCH, Colo. (AP) — The Latest on the school shooting in Colorado in which 1 student was killed and eight were injured (all times local):

2:30 p.m.

Charter school shooting suspect Devon Erickson has made his first court appearance, bowing his head during much of the proceedings with his dark hair streaked with purple covering his eyes.

The 18-year-old was shackled at the waist with his hands cuffed as he sat in a courtroom flanked by two defense lawyers.

Erickson nodded in answering the judge's questions on Wednesday but at one point the judge requested a verbal answer to whether he had any questions about the proceedings. Erickson simply replied "No."

He is scheduled to return to court on Friday, when charges are expected to be filed.

Erickson is one of the two suspects accused of opening fire at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in the south Denver suburbs on Tuesday. One student was killed and eight were injured. The other suspect is a juvenile.

____

2:05 p.m.

Charter school shooting suspect Devon Erickson is making his first court appearance, bowing his head during much of the proceedings with his dark hair streaked with purple covering his eyes.

The 18-year-old nodded frequently in answering the judge's questions but at one point the judge requested a verbal answer to whether he had any questions. He simply replied "No."

Erickson is among two suspects accused of opening fire at the STEM School Highlands Ranch in the south Denver suburbs on Tuesday. One student was killed and eight were injured.

The other suspect is a juvenile.

___

12:40 p.m.

The student Marine recruit who helped subdue one of the Colorado school shooters gets regular physical workouts and leadership advice but never received military training for dealing with an active-shooter threat.

Marine Capt. Michael Maggiti said Wednesday that Brendan Bialy met regularly before Tuesday's shooting with a recruiter for exercise and discussions about "what it means to be a Marine."

Maggiti says none of those sessions addressed threats by an active shooter, but that Bialy and his recruiter did talk about "putting service before self."

Bialy is a member of the Marines' Delayed Entry program and the Marines say Bialy put his own safety at risk and showed "courage and commitment" in helping tackle a gunman in the STEM School Highlands Ranch in the south Denver suburbs.

Two suspects are in custody in connection with the killing of one student and injuries suffered by eight others.

Authorities say 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was killed after he lunged at one of the shooters.

___

12:05 p.m.

The U.S. Marine Corps says a student who helped subdue one of the Colorado school shooters is Brendan Bialy, a member of the Marines' Delayed Entry Program.

The Marines said Wednesday that Bialy put his own safety at risk and showed "courage and commitment" in helping tackle a gunman in the STEM School in the south Denver suburbs.

Marine Capt. Michael Maggiti said Bialy's "decisive actions resulted in the safety and protection of his teachers and fellow classmates."

Maggiti says Bialy was not injured. Authorities say 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was killed after he lunged at one of the shooters. Eight other students were injured.

The Delayed Entry Program allows prospective Marines to sign up days or months before they start training.

Maggiti says Bialy is scheduled to begin training this summer.

___

11:55 a.m.

Authorities say the two students accused of killing a classmate in a suburban Denver charter school used at least two handguns. Colorado law prohibits people under age 21 from buying or possessing handguns.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said the suspects had a "number of weapons" in Tuesday's shooting including two handguns, which he said the students were not old enough to buy or own.

Colorado allows people 18 and older to buy "long guns," such as shotguns, rifles and semi-automatic rifles like the AR-15, from dealers with federal firearms licenses.

Authorities say one of the suspects is 18-year-old Devon Erickson, a student at the STEM School Highlands Ranch where Tuesday's shootings occurred.

They say the second suspect is a juvenile who also attended the school.

All firearms buyers in Colorado must undergo background checks conducted by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

___

11:45 a.m.

President Donald Trump is decrying the shooting at a Colorado school, calling it "unspeakable violence."

Trump expressed condolences to the families of the student who was killed and the eight students who were injured.

Trump added in a tweet on Wednesday that he was in close contact with law enforcement officials investigating the case.

Police say two students of the STEM School Highlands Ranch opened fire inside the school Tuesday.

The charter school is located just a few miles away from Columbine, the site of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

Less than three weeks ago, Columbine marked the 20th anniversary of the shooting that killed 12 students and a teacher.

___

11:30 a.m.

Columbine school officials are sending a message of support to a nearby school south of Denver that is the scene of the latest mass shooting.

On Wednesday, the sign outside Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, said, "Our Hearts Are With You STEM."

Authorities say two students of the STEM School Highlands Ranch opened fire inside the school Tuesday, killing one classmate and injuring eight others.

The charter school is located just a few miles away from Columbine, the site of one of the deadliest school shootings in U.S. history.

Less than three weeks ago, Columbine marked the 20th anniversary of the shooting that killed 12 students and a teacher.

It's not clear whether Tuesday's shooting was inspired by the 1999 attack.

___

10:20 a.m.

The armed security guard who apprehended one of two students accused in the suburban Denver school shooting was employed by a security company started by a SWAT team leader who responded to the 1999 Columbine High School shooting.

The company's owner, Grant Whitus, told The Associated Press the security guard is a former Marine who was on duty inside the STEM School Highlands Ranch when the emergency call went out on Tuesday.

He declined to identify the guard but said the guard ran to the area of the shootings and confronted one of the armed students in a hallway. He says the guard drew his weapon and apprehended the person.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock previously said that he believed one of the suspects was detained by the school's security guard.

Whitus says he doesn't know if the guard fired his weapon, but that the student suspect wasn't wounded.

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10:15 a.m.

The student killed in the Colorado high school shooting was fascinated by engineering and eager to help others.

That's according to the chief executive officer of the manufacturing business where 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo worked part-time for the past 18 months.

Classmates say Castillo died after lunging at two gunmen who opened fire in a suburban Denver high school.

Castillo's father, John, told television station KMGH that his son was a hero.

Rachel Short of Bacara USA says Kendrick Castillo started working at her company last year as an intern. She said he was such a terrific employee they offered him a part-time job.

Short said Castillo was funny and empathetic and loved helping people.

Short said: "To find he went down as a hero, I'm not surprised, that's exactly who Kendrick was."

___

10:10 a.m.

The White House says Ivanka Trump has canceled a planned trip to the Denver area in the wake of a school shooting that left one student dead and eight wounded.

She had planned to visit Lockheed Martin's space facility in the south Denver suburb of Littleton Wednesday. The plant is about seven miles (11 kilometers) southwest of the STEM School Highlands Ranch, where the shooting happened on Tuesday.

The White House said the president's daughter and adviser did not want to divert resources or attention from the shooting.

Separately, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the Trump administration would do everything it can to find ways to safeguard schools.

She said: "I'm a parent myself. The president is a parent and grandparent."

___

10:05 a.m.

The prosecutor overseeing the case against two suspects in a fatal Colorado school shooting says the community remains resilient in the face of multiple shootings in the area over the last 20 years.

Douglas County District Attorney George Brauchler noted Wednesday that the STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting was the fifth within a 20-mile (32-kilometer) radius in the past two decades, starting with the 1999 Columbine massacre.

He says those shootings may shape how people across the nation view the Denver metropolitan area, but they are aberrant acts that don't define his home.

He says the community is comprised of kind, compassionate people who are going to mourn, take care of those who are down and pick themselves back up.

Brauchler cited Columbine, the 2012 theater shooting in the Denver suburb of Aurora, a 2013 shooting at Arapahoe High School and last year's fatal shooting of a Douglas County sheriff's deputy.

___

9:30 a.m.

The father of the student killed in a Colorado school shooting says his son was a hero and he wants people to know about him.

John Castillo told television station KMGH that 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo was shot and killed after two students opened fire Tuesday in STEM School Highlands Ranch south of Denver.

Student Nui Giasolli told NBC's "Today" show that she was in her British Literature class when one of the suspects entered and pulled out a gun.

Giasolli said Kendrick Castillo lunged at the gunman, who shot the teen.

Giasolli says Castillo's actions gave the rest of the class time to get underneath their desks and then run across the room to escape to safety.

___

9 a.m.

One of the two suspects in a fatal Colorado school shooting is scheduled to appear in court.

Douglas County District Attorney George Brauchler says 18-year-old Devon Erickson will make an initial appearance at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

A court hearing had not yet been set for the second suspect, a juvenile, as of early Wednesday morning.

Authorities say they shot nine fellow students, one fatally, before they were taken in custody.

The suspects are students at STEM School Highlands Ranch, a charter school south of Denver just a few miles from the site of the 1999 Columbine school shooting.

___

6:45 a.m.

Authorities say the two students accused of killing a classmate in a shooting at a school in suburban Denver used at least two handguns in the attack.

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock said the suspects had a "number of weapons" in Tuesday's shooting but he would not release details. However, he said they included two handguns which he said they were not old enough to buy or own.

Eight other students were wounded in the shooting at the STEM School Highlands Ranch. Spurlock said three were intensive care.

Authorities on Tuesday identified the juvenile suspect as a boy but Spurlock on Wednesday told reporters that the juvenile suspect is a girl.

He says "we originally thought the juvenile was a male by appearance."

Spurlock declined comment when asked by reporters if the juvenile suspect is transgender.

KMGH-TV reported late Tuesday that the juvenile suspect is a transgender male in the process of transitioning from female to male.

The television station cited anonymous sources close to the investigation.

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