The two suspects accused of carrying out a mass shooting at a Denver-area charter school made their first appearances in court Wednesday.
Neither of the suspects – an 18-year-old student at the school named Devon Erickson, and a 16-year-old student named Alec McKinney – were formally charged.
Eighteen-year-old Kendrick Ray Castillo was killed and eight others were wounded in the shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch. First-degree murder and attempted murder charges will certainly be filed, said 18th Judicial District District Attorney George Brauchler. He wants time to consider other charges, he said.
Erickson took the two handguns used in the shooting from his parents, according to a law enforcement source with direct knowledge of the investigation. Both guns were purchased legally, the source said.
Both suspects are scheduled to appear separately in court again on Friday afternoon.
Erickson spent most of his hearing Wednesday with his head bowed, his bushy head of hair – colored with streaks of purple – obscuring his face. He spoke only when spoken to directly by the judge, and at one point signed a court document while holding his handcuffed wrists in front of him.
Prosecutors have not decided whether they will seek to try the 16-year-old suspect as an adult, Brauchler told reporters.
Authorities initially referred to the 16-year-old suspect as female. But the suspect’s lawyer said in court that McKinney goes by the first name Alec, and uses the pronoun “he,” Colorado Judicial Department spokesman Rob McCallum said.
Brendan Bialy, a student who helped disarm one of the suspects, said he knows both alleged shooters. Erickson was a student in his class, where another student was killed and several were wounded, he said.