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Body found of student who shot two administrators at Denver high school, officials say

Denver school shooter's body found
Denver school shooter's body found 00:22

A body found near a vehicle used by a 17-year-old student who shot two administrators at his high school in Denver Wednesday has been identified as the gunman, authorities said.

Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas said the student fled the scene after the shooting at East High School.

During the search for the suspect, a body was found in the woods about "two-tenths of a mile" from the suspect's vehicle, Park County Sheriff Tom McGraw said Wednesday night.

He didn't immediately identify the body as that of the suspect but the county coroner's office later confirmed it was Austin Lyle, the teen authorities had said earlier was the shooter.

McGraw did say, however, that local residents should feel "relieved that we came up here and solved the problem," later adding, "It's over. That's all I can say for tonight. It's over with."

McGraw wouldn't say how the person whose body was found died.

Park County lifted a shelter-in-place order shortly after the body was found. 

One of the victims, Jerald Mason, was released from the hospital Wednesday evening while the other, Eric Sinclair, remained in serious condition, according to Denver Health.

Police posted Lyle's picture on social media after naming him as the gunman Wednesday afternoon.

He was described as a Black male 5 feet, 5 inches tall, weighing 150 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was believed to be associated with a 2005 red Volvo XC90 with Colorado license plate BSCW10.

According to police, the suspect was last seen wearing a green hooded sweatshirt. Mayor Michael Hancock had earlier said the sweatshirt had an astronaut on it. 

"We will find that suspect, and we will hold that suspect accountable for his actions," Hancock said earlier Wednesday.

The suspect was wanted for attempted homicide, police said. 

Student shot 2 faculty members shot at East High School 18:06

The two administrators were searching the student in the morning and "a handgun was retrieved and several shots were fired," the police chief said.

The student was searched at the beginning of every school day under what Thomas described as a "safety plan." Officials didn't provide details about the circumstances that led to the daily searches.

The searches were conducted in a secluded office area at the front of the school away from students, Thomas said, adding that a weapon wasn't found on the student in previous searches.

Police haven't recovered the gun used in the shooting, Thomas said Wednesday afternoon. Authorities were searching his home for evidence.

Paramedics were able to "immediately" tend to the wounded men because they were already at the school to treat a student who was suffering from an allergic reaction, Hancock said.

East High School
Student is embraced by her mother as they leave Denver's East High School after a shooting there on March 22, 2023. Police said a student shot two adult male faculty members. Hyoung Chang / The Denver Post

Students were released early and the school wouldn't be open for the rest of the week, Denver Public Schools Superintendent Alex Marrero said.

Two armed officers will be assigned to the school until the end of the school year, Marrero said. In a statement, Hancock noted that school resource officers had been removed from the school system, and he called for their return.

"Removing them was a mistake and we must move swiftly to correct it," the mayor said.

CBS Colorado noted  that the shooting happened just a little over a month after 16-year-old Luis Garcia was shot near East High School. He died weeks after the shooting

According to Denver Public Schools, 10 guns were confiscated from students in Denver schools between the start of the school year and February.

Parents wait for students to be walked out after two administrators were shot and wounded after a handgun was found during a daily search of a student at Denver's East High School March 22, 2023.
Parents wait for students to be walked out after two administrators were shot and wounded after a handgun was found during a daily search of a student at Denver's East High School on March 22, 2023. AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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