By Ella Torres and Kate Feldman
Two armed students opened fire at STEM School Highlands Ranch in Colorado on Tuesday, killing one schoolmate, in a mass shooting just miles away from Columbine High School.
Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock confirmed late Tuesday that eight students had been shot during the bloody attack and one of them had died.
The victim was identified as an 18-year-old male, police said, but his name was not released.
The suspected shooters, both male students, were taken into custody, Spurlock said during a news conference. One allegedly had a handgun.
Deputies responded to the scene within two minutes, just before 2 p.m. local time, and "engaged the suspects," Spurlock said. The shooters fired at two different locations at the school, he said.
"I believe the quick response of officers helped save lives," Spurlock said. "A quick response eliminates a lot of this issue right off the bat."
Police don't believe there are any more suspects. The two in custody were not on "any radars," the sheriff said.
Victims were transported to three different area hospitals, including at least two in serious condition. Three had been discharged as of Tuesday evening, according to KCNC-TV, Denver's CBS affiliate.
Spurlock said the victims were 15 and older, but did not identify them.
STEM School Highlands Ranch runs from kindergarten to 12th grade and serves 1,800 students. It is located about 7.5 miles southeast of Columbine, where gunmen Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold shot and killed 13 people and injured 21 others during a April 20, 1999, massacre.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis said in a statement that he was making all public safety resources available to assist in securing the site and evacuating students.
"The heart of all Colorado is with the victims & their families," he tweeted.
The FBI has taken over the crime scene, Spurlock said. A suspect's car was found in the school parking lot and officials are working to get search warrants for the car and both suspects' houses.
Kelley Paulson, the mother of two students at the school, told the news outlet she first heard about the shooting through a text message from a friend who was in the school.
"She said 'guns, shooting, oh my god, oh my god.' And she could hear them and that's how I first knew," she told KMGH-TV, Denver's ABC affiliate. "The next thing I know, I heard my son, who is calling me because all of the kids who were in middle school ... all immediately ran out of the building."
The latest school shooting comes barely a month after a Florida woman "infatuated" with the Columbine school massacre traveled to Colorado, bought a shotgun and leveled a series of threats against Denver-area schools that caused a widespread shutdown. Sol Pais, 18, was found dead with an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound before she could follow through with her threats.
Exactly a week ago, two students were killed and four were injured in a shooting at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Trystan Andrew Terrell, the accused gunman, was charged with several murder counts, assault with a deadly weapon, gun possession on education property, and discharging a firearm on education property.
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