The recent attack at Stem School Highlands Ranch was the 15th US school shooting this year, in a state that has been ground zero of an epidemic
Two little girls played in the grass outside Stem School Highlands Ranch in Douglas County, Colorado, where a school shooting took place on 7 May. The girls parents solemnly looked over a shrine. Flowers, teddy bears and a six-pack of Coca-Cola had been laid under a photo of the schools hero, 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, who was killed while tackling one of two student shooters.
Eight students were injured; due perhaps to his action, Castillo was the only fatality. Next to his portrait, cardboard letters spelled out #STEMSTRONG and someone had written in colored chalk on the sidewalk Youre SO loved, next to Castillos yearbook quote: The most difficult roads lead to the most beautiful places.
They dont know anyone got hurt, Michelle Watts said of her daughters, aged six and eight, who laughed as they raced round the shrine. Stem has 1,850 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. They think it was a drill. Theyre young enough to where I feel like Im going to leave it at that until they ask the right questions, because it breaks my heart.
The attack was the 15th school shooting this year in the US, according to CNN. It took place eight miles away from Columbine high school, patient zero in an epidemic that has provoked copycat shooters as well as threats there as recently last month, on the massacres 20th anniversary.
In 2012, the Denver metro area also suffered one of the deadliest mass shootings in modern US history, when a gunman in an Aurora, Colorado, movie theater killed 12 and injured 70.
A recent analysis by the Denver Post found that since 1999, metro Denver has seen more school shootings per million people than the 24 other largest US metropolitan areas, and the third-most mass shootings by population.