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2 Juvenile Suspects Released After Weapons Investigation, Northfield High School Remains Closed Thursday

DENVER (CBS4)- Police in Denver rushed to the Northfield High School campus in northeast Denver on Thursday morning to investigate reports of a student with a weapon on campus. Northfield cleared the lockdown just before 11 a.m. and released students to their parents and caregivers.

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The campus is located at 5500 Central Park Blvd. and has about 2,000 students. Students and teachers were released by classroom onto buses to the Northeast DPS bus terminal on Dallas Street, just north of Northfield Boulevard. That's where parents can be reunited with their students.

"All of the kids at the Paul Sandoval Northfield campus are safe," said Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen.

Pazen said that within three minutes officers responded after a student noticed something suspicious. Two suspects were taken into custody. As of 6:30 p.m., DPD says the juvenile males were released to their parents and charges could still be filed.

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"You need to get there immediately. You can't tell the difference between a paintball gun and a real gun," said Pazen. "All safety measures were taken so that all students, staff and faculty and Northfield community felt safe."

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"Kudos to our team and our response time," Denver Public Schools superintendent Alex Marrero.

Denver Public Schools safety and security officials said that lockdown protocols were followed in regard to the situation.

The school will remain closed on Thursday. Thursday was the school's last day of classes before the summer break. Marrero said that DPS schools with more days to complete before summer break will notice an increase in security and police presence.

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One student told CBS4 that another student showed up with a "splatter ball gun" in the area of the Northfield High gym and started shooting "jellies" at students. He described it as an orange and grey toy gun that shoots jelly-like pellets.

"We all knew it was a joke, we all knew what it was," said Northfield High junior Jeremiah Lopez. "It was fun, it was all fun. It shouldn't have been done in school, but it was all taken in fun."

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There is a TikTok challenge called the "Orbeez Challenge" which apparently encourages people to do drive-by-style shooting using projectile shooters known as gel blasters or gel ball guns.

Copter4 flew over the scene which showed a large police presence. All students and educators were placed on lockdown during the investigation.

"I got the text earlier from my son and he's like 'Mom.' and he just sent me 'Mom' and I started panicking because I knew something was going on. He said there's someone up here with a gun. It dawned on me that two days ago the shooting there so I just ran up here and panicked," said parent Trina Johnson.

"All our friends in there and a lot of people we have memories with, and it's like, who wouldn't be scared?" said student Terrance Taylor.

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Police said there were no shots fired and no gun found. There were no injuries reported.

Students were released after 11 a.m. They were transported to a nearby bus terminal.

"We're taking them off campus, just to get them away from this away," said DPS spokesman Will Jones.

Students who drove to school will be transported back to the school after all the law enforcement has left.

We know you all are anxious and scared and there are many rumors flying around. I can say that we are in lockdown, not...

Posted by Northfield High School on Thursday, May 26, 2022

Northfield High School posted this statement on its Facebook page, We know you all are anxious and scared and there are many rumors flying around. I can say that we are in lockdown, not lockout, in all buildings on campus. The site of the incident appears to be confined only to Building 3, the gym building, and law enforcement officers have been clearing students out of that building safely. There are numerous officers and vehicles on campus right now. There has been NO discharge of firearms and no students have been harmed to my knowledge. Given the strength of the law enforcement response, clearly DPD and DPS are taking this situation very seriously and doing a very professional job of handling this matter. If your student is not yet on campus, please keep them home. If they are here, keep in touch with them and reassure them that the incident is being handled with utmost regard for safety. We are all hoping it is a false alarm, but we definitely understand how terribly scary and anxiety-provoking it is, especially given recent events in Texas.

DSST: Conservatory Green High School shares a campus with Northfield. That school was also placed on lockdown during the investigation at Northfield.


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