STEM School shooting suspects formally charged, 16-year-old as an adult

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CASTLE ROCK, Colo. — The suspects accused of opening fire inside STEM School Highlands Ranch are facing 48 charges each, including first-degree murder, attempted first-degree murder, arson and theft, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The suspects, 18-year-old Devon Erickson and 16-year-old Alec McKinney, are alleged to have opened fire with handguns inside the school, killing one classmate and wounding eight others on May 7.

They have been in a Douglas County jail since the shooting and made court appearances on Wednesday.

According to court documents made public before Wednesday’s hearing, the suspects face 48 counts each. The 16-year-old was charged with first-degree murder as an adult.

Judge Theresa Slade denied the prosecution’s request during a hearing for the 18-year-old to make some documents public, but said she would take up the issue at the next hearing on June 7.

Devon Erickson in court
STEM School Highlands Ranch shooting suspect Devon Erickson makes a court appearance at the Douglas County Courthouse on May 15, 2019. (Joe Amon-Pool/Getty Images)

Erickson appeared more involved in Wednesday’s proceedings compared with his initial court appearance last week. His face was visible, and he looked forward toward the judge while attorneys discussed the case.

He wore a jail uniform and was kept shackled at his wrists and ankles after the judge denied a request to remove them.

McKinney appeared in court after Erickson. He glanced back several times during the hearing toward the bench where his mother was sitting.

The court appearances came on the same day of a celebration of life ceremony for 18-year-old Kendrick Castillo, who was killed in the shooting.

Castillo’s parents also attended the hearing. His father stared at both defendants.

The eight students who were wounded have been released from hospitals.

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