US student wanted for shooting two school staff, found dead

What you need to know:

  • The deceased suspect was identified as 17-year-old Austin Lyle, the Park County coroner's office said, according to NBC News early on Thursday. 

A student wanted for shooting two school staff in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday was found dead in a neighboring county, US media reported, citing authorities.

The deceased suspect was identified as 17-year-old Austin Lyle, the Park County coroner's office said, according to NBC News early on Thursday. 

Lyle was being patted down at East High School as part of a search for weapons when he produced a handgun and began shooting, police in the western US state said.

One wounded school administrator remained hospitalized in serious condition, while another had been discharged, NBC said, citing a hospital spokesperson.

The shooting was the latest instance of gun violence to rock US schools.

Denver Police Department said late Wednesday that a body was found near Lyle's vehicle in Park County, southwest of Denver.

The county coroner's office said an investigation was underway and further details would not be given until an autopsy was done, NBC reported.

The teen's vehicle was found just before 4:30 pm (2230 GMT), police said, according to The Denver Post newspaper.

The body was discovered about four hours later, a few hundred yards from the vehicle, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said, according to the Post.

He did not identify the body but said a shelter-in-place order for local residents was lifted after the body was found.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office, Denver Police Department and FBI were also involved in the search for Lyle, McGraw said in a statement.

Classes canceled

"At approximately 9:50 this morning, a call was aired of a shooting here at East High School," Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said earlier Wednesday.

Responding officers and medical professionals "discovered two adult males that had suffered gunshot wounds" at the scene, he said.

Thomas said Lyle had been subject to an agreement under which he would be searched for weapons every day when arriving at school.

These arrangements were typically started because of concerns over past behavior, he said.

Denver police said on Twitter they were taking the unusual step of identifying a wanted juvenile "due to the public safety concern that he poses."

Lyle was Black and last seen wearing a green hoodie, the department said.

Wednesday's shooting at East High School came just weeks after a 16-year-old student was fatally shot in his car there.

Classes at the school have been canceled for the rest of the week, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero said.

Armed officers will be present on campus for the rest of the school year after students return, he said.

The Denver Post reported that the city's elected school board voted in 2020 to get rid of police officers from schools as part of a national reckoning over race and policing.

Board members argued the presence of officers was detrimental to students of color, the Post said.

School shootings are alarmingly common in the United States despite public anguish in the wake of the high-profile massacres at Sandy Hook and Uvalde, among others.

Students all over the country are taught how to respond to an "active shooter" on campus, and debate continues about arming teachers and bolstering security.

While an overwhelming majority of Americans favor stricter controls on who can have a gun, the political class is deadlocked. Conservative voices argue that a constitutional right to deadly weapons cannot be infringed.

Welcome!

You're all set to enjoy unlimited Prime content.