Another school shooting. Another mass shooting.
With the first cracks of gunfire inside STEM School Highlands Ranch on Tuesday afternoon, Denver’s suburbs yet again became the once-serene backdrop for national tragedy, the latest chapter in our country’s seemingly endless saga of mass violence.
In the Denver Post newsroom, the first alert of shots fired inside a school in Douglas County brought back what’s become an altogether too-familiar feeling: Here we go again.
We quickly dispatched reporters and photographers to Highlands Ranch, while others worked the phones in the newsroom in order to get accurate news about the STEM School shooting posted online and updated as quickly as we could. The goal, as always, in situations like this is to sort through the noise and give our the community the clearest, most comprehensive account of what happened.
As the week unfolded, we began learning the stories of heroism and loss. The shooting claimed the life of 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, who helped tackle one of the two gunmen, surely saving further tragedy with his own sacrifice. In the end, eight other students had been shot.
The tragedy left us, once again, with those nagging questions. Why does this keep happening here? Is Colorado — and more specifically, the Denver metro area — more prone to school shootings and other mass tragedies like the Aurora theater shooting?
Reporter Meg Wingerter, who covers K-12 education for the Post, set out to try and answer that second question, analyzing data on school shootings and mass shootings from four national databases. The answer? Yes, they have both occurred in higher numbers in the Denver metro area, compared to population, over the past 20 years than in most large American metropolitan areas.
The bigger question, though, still remains. Why?
— Matt Sebastian, Senior Editor of The Denver Post
Five of The Denver Post’s best stories this week
Denver area sees more school shootings by population than nation’s largest metro areas, analysis shows
Tuesday’s shooting at STEM School Highlands Ranch, which ended with one student dead, eight others injured and two of their classmates in custody, prompted Coloradans to once again question whether these types of mass shootings are more prevalent here than elsewhere. Read more from Meg Wingerter.
MORE STEM SHOOTING COVERAGE
- After STEM School shooting, a community must face the trauma following the tragedy
- STEM School students need support to grieve and process tragedy on their own terms, experts say
- STEM School shooting lasted 14 minutes. Here’s what we know happened in that time.
- STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting: What we know
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