Update 8:20 p.m.: Denver police said that they have located the vehicle they believed Austin Lyle was driving and are still looking for the suspect in the shooting at Denver East High School.
A 17-year-old student reportedly shot two staff members Wednesday morning at Denver East High School and fled the scene.
Denver Police identified the suspect as Austin Lyle and said the shooting took place during a “security search” that detected a gun, the Denver Post reported. He is now wanted for attempted murder.
Police Chief Ron Thomas said the search was “a regular protocol with this student” based on past behavior, the Post said. After the shooting — at about 9:50 a.m. — Lyle “was able to get out of the school,” Thomas said.
UPDATE: Your #Denver Police Department continues working in conjunction with local, state and federal law enforcement partners to locate the suspect from today’s shooting at Denver East High School. Due to the public safety concern that he poses, the Department is identifying… pic.twitter.com/RmwO940Qug
— Denver Police Dept. (@DenverPolice) March 22, 2023
KDVR reported that the protocol was in place because Lyle had been expelled from another school district, citing a source with connections to the school district. School superintendent Alex Marrero said that Lyle had transferred from another district but did not mention why he transferred or why he was being searched daily, the Post reported.
Thomas said that the department identified the juvenile suspect “due to the public safety concern.”
“We don’t have any sense of where he is. We know where he lives,” the chief said during a press briefing Wednesday morning at the the school.
Marrero said classes would be canceled at the school for the remainder of the week. He also said that two armed officers will be on duty for the rest of the school year once classes resume, adding that the district was “looking forward to expanding that conversation to see how we can reestablish a relationship” after the school board voted to disband school resource officers following the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in 2020.
KUSA identifed the victims as Jerald Mason and Eric Sinclair, both listed as deans at the school. Denver Health confirmed that both were patients there. One of them was in surgery with life-threatening injuries, and the other was in serious but stable condition and was speaking with investigators.
Police described Lyle as 5 feet 5 inches tall and about 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a green, hooded sweatshirt and is believed to be driving a 2005 red Volvo XC90 with Colorado license plates BSCW10.
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[Featured image: Austin Lyle/Denver Police Department]