Schools in the Sheridan School District are open again today, October 10, following a day-long closure on Wednesday in response to a shooting outside Sheridan High School, its flagship campus, on the evening of October 8. And now, after more than a day at large, the teen who pulled the trigger is no longer on the loose.
"Sheridan High School shooting suspect is in custody," the Sheridan Police Department tweeted. "Suspect turned himself in to SPD."
The shooting took place during a girls' volleyball game between Sheridan High and Denver's Bruce Randolph School. Sheridan School District officials initially said the wounded party was a student from "a neighboring district"; he turns out to be a fifteen-year-old attending John F. Kennedy High School. He was shot in the shoulder, and after undergoing surgery, he's expected to make a complete recovery.
The shooter, meanwhile, is a sixteen-year-old student from SOAR Academy, at 4107 South Federal Boulevard. SOAR is one of the five Sheridan School District facilities that closed yesterday. The others are Sheridan Early Childhood Center, 4100 South Hazel Court; Alice Terry Elementary, 4485 South Irving Street; Fort Logan Northgate, 4000 South Lowell Boulevard; and Sheridan High, 3201 West Oxford Avenue.
The name of the shooter has not been released, owing to his age.
The first official communication about the episode from the Sheridan Police Department came via a tweet at 9:22 p.m. on October 8: "SPD is investigating a shooting that occurred this evening in the parking lot at Sheridan High School. One victim transported with gun shot wound. One suspect at large. Please avoid the area so officers and deputies can work this situation."
Then, at 10:33 p.m., the Sheridan School District took to Facebook and Twitter to announce today's closure:
All Sheridan School District schools will be closed tomorrow (Wednesday, Oct. 9) in the wake of an incident this evening on the grounds at Sheridan High School. We are working closely with the Sheridan Police Department to investigate this incident, which involved a shooting. Unfortunately, we understand tonight that at least one student — not a Sheridan student, but a student from a neighboring district — was injured. We believe this to be an isolated incident. However, as safety remains our top priority, all schools will be closed tomorrow.
At 11:15 p.m., 9News's Marc Sallinger reported that the crime took place around 7:45 p.m. in a tweet complaining that this detail was delivered "more than 3 hrs after shooting happened." His tone prompted a subsequent Sheridan Police message that passed along an additional update with a dollop of sarcasm: "Scene is still being processed by the crime lab. Most witnesses have been interviewed and sent home. Victim is still in surgery and stable. Sheridan Schools has advised us that all classes are canceled tomorrow. We apologize to 9News. Apparently we did not meet your expectations."
Earlier on October 9, the Sheridan Police Department revealed that the suspect and the victim got into a verbal altercation that ended when the former produced a gun and squeezed the trigger. The SPD has stressed that it would have additional officers at area schools today and tomorrow.
In a letter to parents, Sheridan superintendent Pat Sandos wrote, "From everything we can gather, this was an isolated incident." He added: "When our schools open Thursday, we will have additional security measures in place as well as mental health personnel and all schools will operate on a closed-campus basis. Students who normally leave during the day for lunch breaks will not be allowed to do so with the exception of students who are transported off site." Click to read the complete letter.
Our original post from October 9 was updated at 10 a.m. October 10 to note that the shooter is now in custody.