AURORA, Colo. – Police say criminal charges are pending against two teenage boys connected to a BB gun that was brought to Rangeview High School Friday, causing a school lockdown and massive police response.
Aurora police were told by the schools’ resource officer shortly after 11 a.m. that there was a Snapchat photo circulating that showed a student with a weapon in his waistband, according to a news release from Aurora police.
More than 70 Aurora police officers responded to the high school, which was placed on lockdown immediately. Students who were outside of the school were escorted by police off school property.
Police then identified a suspect and started to look for him inside the school and in the surrounding area. Shortly after noon Friday, an officer spotted a teenager matching the suspect’s description near S. Buckley Road and E. Evans Ave.
That teenager and another teenage boy he was with were both taken into custody for questioning. Police said one of them “was in possession of a BB gun made to look like a real firearm.”
Though police are not releasing their names because they are juveniles, Aurora police said that both teens were released to their parents but that charges against both were pending. Both are students at Rangeview High School, Aurora police said.
In a statement, Aurora Police Chief Nick Metz praised his officers and Aurora Public School Security Officers who assisted in the response and investigation.
“I appreciate the Rangeview High School staff and the School Resource Officer who quickly brought this to our attention and helped us resolve this situation quickly and safely,” Metz said. “I commend my officers who apprehended the suspects and recognized the necessity to quickly capture the ones responsible.”
Aurora police say they are continuing to investigate the incident and ask anyone with more information to call Detective C. Fanning at 303-627-3161.
Aurora Public Schools Superintendent Rico Munn sent a letter home to APS parents and staff Friday afternoon that reads as follows:
Earlier today, Rangeview High School was placed into lockdown while the Aurora Police Department investigated a possible threat at the school. We received a report of a student with a weapon in the building. We immediately placed the school into lockdown. Aurora police officers secured both the student and weapon. We want to thank all Rangeview students and staff for closely following our safety and security protocols and we thank our families and community for their support.
Mrachek Middle School and Vassar Elementary School were placed into secure perimeter as a precaution. We thank parents at those schools for their patience during the incident.
Safety is our top priority. As a reminder, we use a comprehensive approach when it comes to health and safety called APS CARES [aurorak12.org]: Communication, Awareness, Relationships, Engagement and Security.
During emergencies, we understand the urgent and important need to communicate with our community. Social media is often a source for information. However, social media often spreads rumors and misinformation. Please know that we always work to share information that is timely, accurate and actionable through phone calls, email messages, website updates and our official social media channels (Twitter and Facebook @aurorak12).
We maintain close relationships with our law enforcement partners and want to thank the Aurora Police Department for their support in keeping our students and staff safe.
We know that today’s events may be upsetting for students and staff. Please know that we have counselors available for those who need support. Counselors will be at Rangeview High School tomorrow from 8 a.m.-noon, on Monday and as needed. Our focus remains on ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.
As a reminder for APS staff, all employees have free, 24-hour, confidential access to counseling services offered through our Employee Assistance Program at 1-800-284-1819.
I would like to thank the APS family for your vigilance, teamwork and care today.
Aurora Public Schools