Douglas County Undersheriff Holly Nicholson-Kluth confirmed that two suspects are in custody after a shooting at the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. The school is located less than nine miles from Columbine, where a deadly school shooting claimed the lives of 13 people back in 1999.
STEM School Highlands Ranch is a Charter School with grades K-12.
Shots broke out at the STEM School Highlands Ranch, located at 8773 S. Ridgeline Blvd., on Tuesday, May 7, just before 2 p.m. local time. Shots were first reported in the middle school, Nicholson-Kluth said in a press conference. Police estimate that seven or eight people have been injured by gunfire and their conditions range from serious to fair. Further details about the victims have not been released by authorities.
Here’s what you need to know:
Highlands Ranch Is Located in Suburban Colorado
Highlands Ranch is a suburban town located approximately 19 miles south of Denver, Colorado. The town borders several other suburbs, including Littleton and Centennial to its north and Acres Green and Lone Tree to its east.
The small town became a suburb in 1978 and the first home was built in 1981. By 2006, the population of Highlands Ranch had grown to 86,000 residents, many of whom commute to Denver for work.
According to Zillow, the median home value in Highlands Ranch is $478,000.
“This is a good community. It’s usually very quiet, extremely low crime rate,” said Nicholson-Kluth, who has been with the department 30 years.
STEM School Highlands Ranch Is a K-12 Charter School
The STEM School Highlands Ranch opened in 2011 with grades 6-9. In 2016, fifth grade was added and, the following year, grades K-4 were added. It is one of seven schools that have high school aged children. It is also one of seven schools that have middle school aged children. It is one of 28 schools that offers elementary school education. The school is located in an office park next to a retail center.
“Welcome to STEM School Highlands Ranch. We are an innovative, free, public, charter learning community that exists to innovate K-12 education in order to prepare every student to lead change, solve problems and succeed in an exponentially changing world. We are more than a school. We are a think tank, a learning lab and a catalyst for creativity. We are a haven for continual innovation, creative exploration, and rigorous discovery. We defy definition and break with convention. Because that’s what innovators do. We see school differently. Although our curriculum has a college preparatory focus with emphasis on developing core liberal arts skills in reading, writing, mathematics, and science, we use creativity, problem-solving and innovation to inspire and challenge our students,” reads the school’s website.
There are approximately 1,800 students enrolled at STEM.