Body of student accused of shooting two Denver school administrators found

DENVER — Authorities have found the body of a high school student accused of shooting and injuring two administrators Wednesday morning at Denver’s East High School, officials said.

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The student was being searched by two of the school’s deans before 10 a.m. Wednesday when he shot them, Chief Ron Thomas said. He fled after the shooting, which left one administrator in serious condition and the other in critical condition, authorities said.

Update 6 a.m. EDT March 23: Austin Lyle, 17, was found dead near a vehicle that police had been looking for following a shooting at East High School in Denver on Wednesday morning, according to NBC News.

Police said Lyle was the suspect in the shooting that left two school administrators wounded.

A shelter-in-place order that had been issued for those living close to where the SUV was located, near Bailey, Colorado, was lifted after the body was found. Bailey is about 35 miles from the high school where the shootings took place.

Lyle’s remains were found in a wooded area, about 2/10th of a mile from a red Volvo that had been sought following the shootings, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw told NBC News.

— Debbie Lord, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Update 1:02 a.m. EDT March 23: Officials with the Park County Sheriff’s Office said a body was found near the vehicle of the student suspected of shooting two high school administrators, KDVR-TV reported.

Austin Lyle, 17, was identified as the suspect by Denver police and was under a safety plan to be patted down each day before entering the school. During that search on Wednesday, Lyle gained possession of a weapon and allegedly shot the staff members before fleeing the scene, according to the television station.

Lyle’s vehicle — a red 2005 Volvo XC90 — was found in Park County around 4:30 p.m. MDT, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said during a news conference. Around 8:15 p.m., members of the Jefferson County SWAT Team located a male’s body approximately two-tenths of a mile away from the vehicle, KMGH-TV reported.

McGraw said he could not immediately identify the body, but said a shelter-in-place order for nearby residents was lifted after it was discovered, according to The Denver Post. The Park County coroner’s office is investigating the cause of death and will release the body’s identity, county spokesperson Emmy Glancy West told the newspaper.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Update 7:38 p.m. EDT March 22: According to Denver police, the alleged shooter was identified as Austin Lyle, 17, KDVR-TV reported. Police confirmed that Lyle was a student at East High School, according to KUSA-TV.

A safety plan was in effect because Lyle has allegedly been expelled from another school district, KDVR reported. A spokesperson for the Cherry Creek Schools district told the television station that Lyle was “disciplined for violations of board policy and was removed from Overland High School.”

The two injured adults, who were identified as deans at the school during a news conference on Wednesday, were taken to an area hospital, KMGH-TV reported.

Heather Burke, a spokesperson with Denver Health Medical Center, confirmed to the television station that Jerald Mason and Eric Sinclair, both listed as deans on East High School’s website, were brought to the facility with injuries.

Mason was listed in good condition and was discharged. Sinclair, who underwent surgery, was listed in serious condition, according to KMGH.

— Bob D’Angelo, Cox Media Group National Content Desk

Original report: A student was also taken to a hospital after the shooting, though Mayor Michael Hancock said they were not injured in the altercation. Instead, they had an allergic reaction and “a visceral reaction due to the tension of the moment.”

Officials said the alleged shooter, who has not been identified, was under a safety plan in which he agreed to be patted down daily. The search Wednesday took place in the front office of the school, away from other students and staff members, Thomas said.

School district officials declined to elaborate on the circumstances that led to the safety plan agreement. Superintendent Alex Marrero said the plans are “very nuanced, and it’s particular to the individual.”

“It’s based on past behavior ... past educational and also behavioral experiences that each individual student may have exhibited in the past,” he said.

Thomas said authorities know who the suspected shooter is and that police were searching to find him.

“We are looking for the suspect. We will find that suspect,” Hancock said. “And we will hold that suspect accountable for his actions this morning in placing everyone in danger and certainly wounding the two staff members who were doing their job and trying to keep everyone safe at the time.”

East High School was placed under lockdown after the shooting. School district officials said students would later be released early.

Marrero said classes will be suspended through the remainder of the week.

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